Online Videos Expand Professor’s Reach

DePaul professors are always looking for innovative ways to inspire students and enhance their educational experience. Find out how Professor Ruben Parra reinvented one of his courses using the flipped learning model, and watch a video of a sample lecture above.

As director of DePaul’s Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Ruben Parra and his staff create opportunities for faculty to share best practices in teaching, access resources and develop assessment techniques. So it’s not surprising that he’s picked up some innovative teaching techniques along the way. Parra, who is also a professor of chemistry in the College of Science and Health, had been struggling to help his students understand some difficult mathematical derivations. Then he hit upon the idea of flipping his classroom.

Like his colleague Erin Mason in the College of Education, Parra decided to transition the lecture portion of his course to online videos. “I was able to say to my students, ‘based on the video clips I uploaded last Friday, what questions do you have? What issues have you encountered?’” By flipping his classroom, Parra gained valuable time to engage more closely with his students. “Since students have already watched the video, we can focus the discussion on the main point of the derivation, as opposed to starting from scratch,” he notes. “Plus, I know they can watch the video as many times as they need to in order to understand the concept.”

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