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Dalton State College-2015--Hybrid Courses, -Flipped Classrooms


Goal 8 – Restructure Instructional Delivery – Strategy 8.2 – Implement alternative delivery models

Alternative models of instructional delivery have been shown to increase student engagement and student success (Barr and Tagg, 2012).  Examples include online courses, hybrid (blended) courses, flipped classrooms, emporium model, and incorporation of interactive technologies and social media.  Further, increased student engagement leads to decreased D/F/Ws and improvements in student learning, which, in turn, promotes confidence, persistence, and increased likelihood of program completion.  In 2010, Dalton State became a part of AASCU’s Red Balloon Project, focusing on redesigning undergraduate education, and launched a campus-wide, faculty-driven course redesign initiative in the 2011-2012 academic year. Combined with this desire to re-imagine classroom instructional activity to be less instructor-based and more learning-centered, the faculty and administration have learned what does and does not work well with DSC students.

With a new Director for our Center for Academic Excellence in Summer 2014, the college began a focus on “high impact practices” as defined by the AACU through their LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) initiative.  Almost every event was related to incorporating the high impact practices into the classroom and curriculum. During the 2014-15 academic year and continuing into 2015-16, the CAE is providing training and leadership in service learning, writing intensive classes, common readers, first year experience and freshmen year courses, internships, capstone courses, undergraduate research, collaborative learning projects, and global learning.  For example, this spring the various undergraduate research programs were combined into a full day of presentations in various disciplines as the “Student Scholarship Showcase.”

To be specific, in 2013 learning support math initiated an emporium model which has raised success rates to over two- thirds of enrolled students; numerous instructors utilize a flipped classroom, and increasingly, more students are being taught in hybrid/blended formats. For example, 3034 credit hours were attempted in hybrid courses in Fall 2013, with an 85.8% success rate; 8% more students were enrolled in hybrid classes in 2014 than in 2011. In the same period, 710 students participated in the first year experience course, which is now being expanded to include thematic courses (students with SAT scores over 1300 are exempt from the first year experience course).  The freshmen enrolled in FYES 1000 will all be reading The Other Wes Moore and in 2014 read The Happiness Project as a common intellectual experience.  The Office of Student Life directs a civic engagement program, and DSC has a growing international education program that enlisted 42 students and 9 faculty members to participate in 9 study abroad programs in 2013–2014 Academic Year.  In the 2014-2015 Academic Year, 36 students and 7 faculty members participated in 10 study abroad programs.

Another alternative strategy that has gained some traction nationally is that of the “flipped classroom,” where direct instruction through reading and video is done outside of class meetings and class time is used for active learning strategies.  The Center for Academic Excellence has hosted workshops on this methodology and several instructors in the STEM disciplines and elsewhere have experimented with it.  Preparation demands for the flipped classroom, such as creating instructional videos, is high, and student resistance is also an issue.  To this date, no consistent data has been collected on classroom flipping.  However, the ASN program began a fully flipped classroom mode of instruction Fall 2014.  This move was partially in response to lower-than-normal first-time pass rates of ASN graduates on the NCLEX (69% in Spring 2014). In Fall 2014, instructors were required to flip at least one lecture period, and by Fall 2015 all lectures were flipped.  Data collection in terms of student evaluation of instructors (and thus satisfaction with the class experience) has been done, but the most important data will be the first-time success rates of ASN graduates on the NCLEX in Summer 2016.  Among other reasons, the ASN program was changed to a flipped classroom model in order to address the high content nature of the coursework and the increased emphasis on critical thinking on the NCLEX.

Although not an alternative method, DSC has increased its number of hours achieved through CLEP and credit by exam; however, AP, IB, and DSST credits have decreased, offset by the strong increase in dual enrollment options for local high school students.  An additional strategy that we are pursuing iswas targeted ttargetingo the recruitment, support, and program completion of adult learners and military personnel.  Dalton State has been a member of the USG’s Adult Learning Consortium since fFall of 2010, employing a variety of strategies to support adult and military learners.  These efforts include our push to offer more online courses and programs, targeted advertising, designated Quick Admit Days, the establishment of a military resource room, a pilot program for pre-admission career counseling, and a pilot to offer “concierge” type services to adult students to assist them in successfully navigating the initial admissions/financial aid/registration process.   However, with the termination of the ALC, these offerings have been reduced in scope.


Restructure Instructional Delivery to Support Educational Excellence and Student Success

Strategy-- ONGOING

Implement alternative delivery models, such as online and hybrid instruction, flipped classrooms, and emporium model instruction

Summary of Activities

Since 2011-12 AY course redesign initiative and with a new Center for Academic Excellence Director, faculty have increasingly implemented a variety of instructional innovations, including hybrid instruction, flipped classrooms, use of i-clickers, use of iPads, emporium model, small group projects, and undergraduate research to increase student engagement and learning.  The Center for Academic Excellence, the Library, and the Instructional Technology Service Center have offered a variety of workshops, book groups, small group discussions, presentations, speakers, webinars, etc. to offer professional development opportunities for faculty to learn about new instructional technologies; we have funded faculty travel to conferences to do presentations and learn from others regarding alternative instructional methods; we have a newly hired Instructional Technologist who will direct training under the Office of Academic Affairs.  Part of the Quality Enhancement Plan involved introducing writing software into learning support English.  This Goal is being addressed at many levels through the introduction and emphasis on high-impact practices.


Fall 2011 data:  Completion rates in hybrid courses:  80%

One-year retentions rates of first-time, full-time freshmen, 64.2%

Overall GPA, 2.63

Course completion rates, 79.3%

Measures of Progress

Overall student GPA has increased to 2.95 in Fall 2014.

Sixty-nine percentage pass rates on the NCLEX for Spring 2014 graduates.

One-year retention rates of first-time, full-time freshmen increased to 67.8% in 2013.

Completion rates in hybrid courses has increased to 87.2% in Spring 2015.

Overall course completion rates increased to 85.8% in Fall 2014.

Since introduction of emporium model for learning support math, overall completion rate has increased to 63%, with a high of 69% in Spring 2015.

English 0098 (Learning Support English) completion rates have increased from about 50% to over 80%.

Bachelor’s degree completion increased from 221 in 2010 to 289 in 2014.

All lecture instruction in ASN program has been adapted to flipped classroom methodology by Fall 2015. Spring 2015 graduates performed at 73.53% on NCLEX.

Measures of Success

By 2020

Improved pass rates on NCLEX for ASN graduates, from 69% to 90%.

5% decrease in the Fall 2014 D/F/W rates.

Sustained and somewhat improved success rates in learning support courses (due to decreased admission standards and adaptation to co-requisite model in English and reading in Fall 2017).  After the adjustments in 2017, it is projected that pass rates will be sustained at 75%

5% increase in campus average GPAs.


Center for Academic Excellence; Office of Instructional Technology


Funds for professional development opportunities for faculty and staff

People Involved

Vice President for Academic Affairs; Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs; Director of the Center for Academic Excellence; Director of First Year Experience Program; Director of Center for International Education; Director and staff of Library; Office of Distance Education staff; OCIS Director and staff; faculty