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John Gallaugher
John Gallaugher - Assoc. Prof. of Information Systems. Carroll School of Management, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02468 - john.gallaugher@bc.edu

Zero to App Developer in a Semester: Using a Flipped Classroom Approach to Empower Student Innovators, Accelerate Learning, and Lighten Instructor Workload

While all collegiate innovators aren't tech-focused, we are in a golden age of collegiate entrepreneurship and student innovation, in large part due to the low cost and wide availability of technologies such as smart phones, app stores, and cloud computing infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges to would-be student innovators is a lack of skill to turn their vision into reality. Students new to technology face a steep and frustrating learning curve before they acquire skills to build a product, and faculty struggle with technical classes that demand significant prep and reprep, high student interaction, and a learning effort that may not directly support research goals. The author will present experiences in using a flipped-classroom approach to turn new-to-programing students into iOS app developers in a single semester. In this approach, students spend time outside of class in follow-along video lectures where they learn programming concepts while building a series of apps. Class time is spent solving exercises that reinforce and build on video lessons covered outside of class. With lectures available online, and class-time exercises and solutions provided in advance, one of the most time-intensive teaching obligations is transformed into a course with a significantly lighter faculty workload. Success and learning on the structure of class, assignments, and engagement with employers and community outside of class will also be shared. Faculty will also share experience in leveraging online tools and a low-cost publisher to make resources available to colleagues and universities, turning a heavy-lift course into a significantly less-intensive faculty effort.