Blended Learning Challenge Faculty Learning Community

This program is not currently running. This page serves for archival purposes only.

2018-2019 Description

The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) Blended Learning Challenge Faculty Learning Community (BLC FLC) supports faculty interested in flipping their classroom. The flipped classroom approach moves content traditionally presented through lectures to digital media format that students study before class so that they can spend class time working problems or doing case studies. Through this two-semester program (September 2018 – May 2019), instructors can propose to transform an existing class or design a new to harness the flipped approaches to teaching.

The goals of the Blended Learning Challenge (BLC) Faculty Learning Community are to harness faculty interest in flipping their classroom teaching. Faculty will work together to help each other understand the principles of flipping as described in the literature and to build out flipped models of instruction for their class by leveraging education technology and instructional video. Additionally, support is available to prepare faculty for conference presentations or publication regarding their flipped class.

Why Flip at BU?

A well-designed flipped course will engage and motivate students to learn outside of class as well as in the classroom; moreover, the in-class activities offer students significant intellectual engagement.

Source: University of Texas at Austin | Faculty Innovation Center – Flipped Classroom

Students tend to learn more through technology-enabled active learning, or flipped courses than traditional lecture courses for several reasons:

  • Outside of class, interactive technology and digital tools enable students to learn more about course concepts.
  • In class, students actively apply what they learned: they generate new ideas, solve problems, think creatively, and interact through hands-on activities.
  • The instructor can provide more effective feedback in response to their questions and quickly identify and correct misunderstandings.

Face-to-face interactions in flipped classroom courses take many different forms; they include active learning techniques, such as, working problem sets, investigating case studies, small group work, discussions, and mini-lectures. Out of class, interactive web-based or digital technologies support the course learning outcomes; such strategies include student response systems, software that automatically grades problems, assignments that result in digital products, wikis, blogs, and video or screencast lectures. 


Any full-time faculty member from any Boston University school, college, or department and any academic rank may apply.

Expectations of Participants

Participants in this program will:

  • Participate regularly in the BLC faculty learning community that meets every three weeks during the academic year.
  • Teach the course during the academic year 2018-19 or the following year and at least one more time over the following five semesters.
  • Provide their completed course syllabus to be linked to the CTL website.
  • Collaborate with the CTL to write and include a statement that encourages students to welcome new ways of learning.
  • Share at BU and beyond their successes and lessons learned from developing and teaching their courses.
  • Be willing, after completing the BLC Program, to mentor other faculty who are designing or teaching blended courses.
  • Submit a written report of accomplishments and funding expenditures to the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Faculty’s Department Chair.
  • Share at BU and beyond their successes and lessons learned developing a gamification approach to their teaching.
  • Submit a written report of accomplishments and funding expenditures to the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Faculty’s Department Chair by May 30th, 2019.


Awards in the amount of $2,500. The first $1,000 will be granted as professional development funds or a one-time taxable stipend. The remaining $1,500 may be designated for course-related expenses (e.g. student support, computer hardware and software, mobile devices, software subscriptions), as a course buy-out, as a research fund (non‐taxable), as a summer wage payment (taxable), or as a combination of these options. These funds must be spent by the end of the first fiscal year of a participant’s BLC award. If multiple faculty members are teaching a course, the funding may be divided among them.

Application Process

Application deadline for the 2018-2019 academic year is Friday, September 7, 2018.  Applicants should submit the following items through the CTL’s FLC Application Portal:

  • Name
  • Email
  • School or College
  • Department or Program
  • Course number for proposed flipped course
  • Course title
  • Anticipated enrollment
  • Course description (as it would be displayed in the Course Offering Directory)
  • Semester(s) the course will be offered
  • Broad questions (~150 words each)
    • Why is the flipped classroom important to your teaching?
    • What will be the biggest change for you in transitioning from a traditional to a flipped modality?
  • Attachments
    • Brief teaching statement
      • A brief statement about your teaching philosophy and current approaches to teaching. This document should communicate your perspectives on teaching and methods of enhancing student learning.
    • Course syllabus
      • If proposed course is a redesign project
    • Letter of support from your department chair or program director
      • May be attached or e-mailed separately to the CTL.

Since the CTL promotes teaching as an ongoing and collaborative process of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection, applicants will be selected primarily on the basis of how participation in this program will benefit their professional growth.

Questions? Email or call Deborah Breen, Director ( or 617-358-3224)