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Flipping isn't just for engineers

Anthropology finds time for hands-on work

A motivation for innovation
JONATHAN COHEN
A student examines a piece of artwork in the flipped version of Archaeology of North American Indians.

Flipping clearly has utility for math and technology courses, but it also can be used in other areas of academe. Just ask Assistant Professor of Anthropology Siobhan Hart.

Last summer, with support from the Center for Learning and Teaching, she revised Archaeology of North American Indians, a course she has taught twice at Binghamton. By flipping the course, she has opened classroom time for her students to work with actual artifacts, a collection of some 25 contemporary art objects from Mexico and the American Southwest that were recently acquired by the University’s Art Museum.

Using knowledge gained in class, Hart’s students examine how the objects were inspired by artifacts. The students then write explanatory text that will accompany an exhibition of the collection that will be mounted next spring.

“Flipping the class gave me an opportunity to work with a process designed to get the students more involved and help them produce a tangible product,” Hart says. “It promises to be a more meaningful learning process.”