How Philip Williams has Flipped Sociology

Guest post by Philip Williams, Sociology Faculty

Philip Williams at whiteboard
Philip Williams using the interactive whiteboard during class discussion to highlight main points in an article as students share.

Flipping SOCI 1020 – Social Problems

This fall the Vol State Sociology Department is offering SOCI1020, Social Problems, as a “flipped classroom.” The flipped social problems class is a unique classroom experience. Course instruction is being delivered through a variety of measures and is using various assessments for students. Textbook material is assigned as home readings, then students use iPads during class meetings to research and access articles, videos, and images available to support their learning.

The primary objective for the flipped classroom is to provide an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. The flipped environment allows students to connect with peers, topics, and concepts in new ways. It also provides a way to improve critical thinking, problem solving, and research skills. Additionally, each student’s knowledge and use of technology increases.

The flipped classroom also serves the college’s larger goal of student retention. Engaging students with exciting, active, and relative assignments meets this goal. By providing a classroom that challenges students in ways so that their individual talents can shine is a personal goal of mine.

Student 3 on iPad Student 2 on iPad Student1 on iPad



Students in Philip’s class are using iPads to search for research articles related to the topic.

Methods and Assessment Strategy

Diverse learning style preferences in this course can be challenged through various projects, activities, and assignments. By letting students work as individuals, pairs, and trios, this type of engagement in class activities allows for students to have a variety of learning experiences. Students are able to write reports or give presentations. They are able to watch videos about a topic, read about a topic, listen to recordings, or combine all of these methods.

The methods and tools for my flipped instruction include a combination of face-to-face instruction, class discussion, video notes, and handouts/emails.  To encourage responses, I give assignments that have students write papers, share and present ideas, ask questions, and discuss topics weekly. The assessments include online multiple-choice quizzes, student led discussions, and short answer questions. There are two research papers over media links on specific topics. Students will have the opportunity to work with peers and the library staff on these mini-papers.

The success of the flipped classroom experience all seems to be determined by the student’s ability to read, work, and plan ahead. Showing up for class without a clue as to what was in the text is not the way of the successful student. This is the essential point that must be made early in the semester for the flipped experience to be successful.

panoramic image of the TLC


Video Quizzes: What and How

By Steven Bennett, Technology Specialist

We’ve talked about My Media (and everything awesome it can do), but let’s talk about something really special: Video Quizzes.

Okay.. What are they?

Video Quizzes are interactive question/answer sections that play during a video. In My Media, you can set these up on any video you have (it makes it as a copy, so you can have the original video and the Video Quiz). Basically they’re an easy way to make sure your students are paying attention to the videos that you’re having them watch.

The Video Quiz displays questions when you choose to have them display.
I promise it’s not C.

Note: Video Quizzes can NOT be set up to automatic grades like normal quizzes in eLearn. But you can go into My Media and see the attempts and scores. So if you wanted to create a manual grade item for that, you technically could.

So how do I do it?

Well, first thing’s first: You need a video in My Media. You’ll go to it and click “Actions” and then “Add Quiz,” which will give you this screen:

The Quiz Editor screen, which lets you add questions and see where they're placed on the timeline of the video.

From here you’ll adjust the settings of the quiz, as well as add questions.

Okay, so I’ve gotten here. How do I add questions?

Easy: Start playing the video. Once you get to a place where you want to add a question, simply pause the video, and you’ll get a “+” icon in the middle of the screen. Click it, and you’ll be taken to the screen to add a question. the Add Questions overlays on top of the video.

From here on in, it’s pretty simple. The question text goes up top, the correct answer goes in the first answer option field in green, and other answers go in the other fields (you can add more – up to four total – by clicking the “+”). Once you’ve entered your choices, you can click the small arrows icon on the top right to shuffle the options. You can click the light bulb icon to add in a hint, and also add in referencing information for the correct answer. Once you’ve finished that question, hit save, and you’re free to move on to the next question.

But what about those settings?

You mean these?

The three screens of the Video Quiz settings

These are where you do the following:

  • Name the Video Quiz
  • Add a welcome message
  • Provide the standard instructions
  • Allow quiz-takers to download the questions beforehand
  • Change their answers (and skip them for now)
  • Show the score (or not) at the end
  • Include the answers at the end

It’s recommended you go through these before you actually start adding questions, otherwise the options will default.

And once you’ve done all that, you’re good to go! Click Go To Media, and it’ll take you back to My Media and you’ll be done, or click Preview Quiz and give it a test run!

If you need some more help with it, I’ve attached a more thorough guide below, but don’t hesitate to give us a visit in Ramer 172 (or drop an email to and we can help you out!

Video Quiz Creation PDF