• xTalks: Digital Discourses

The xTalks series provides a forum to facilitate awareness, deep understanding and transference of educational innovations at MIT and elsewhere. We hope to foster a community of educators, researchers, and technologists engaged in developing and supporting effective learning experiences through online learning environments and other digital technologies. To sign up for the xTalks mailing list, click here.

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Wolfgang Ketterle & Lorna Gibson: Faculty Innovators

Lorna Gibson & Wolfgang Ketterle

Professors Wolfgang Ketterle and Lorna Gibson use the flipped classroom in their teaching as a vehicle for activating learning and engaging students.

Prof. Ketterle had his residential MIT students watch the video lectures from his MOOC as preparation before class. This completely changed the dynamics in his classroom. “Using online material in [my] residential course was transformative for me as a teacher.” It allowed him to engage in a series of surprisingly deep conversations with his class -- discussions that were the most interactive he’d ever experienced.

An advantage for Prof. Gibson in flipping her class and using online problem sets was that the p-sets were now in sync with the lecture material. The students would watch a set of videos, attend a face-to-face recitation with Gibson, do a combination of written and online problem sets, receive immediate feedback on the online portion, and take an assesment quiz -- all within nine days.  In addition, her students liked the flexible access to videos and other online material.

Moderated by Dean for Digital Learning Krishna Rajagopal, this xTalk will offer an opportunity to hear additional thoughts from Ketterle and Gibson on the challenges and opportunities of a flipped classroom.


Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Ketterle is MIT professor of Physics.
MacVicar Fellow Lorna GIbson is MIT professor of Materials Science and Engineering.