Flipping the finance classroom

In the summer of 2014, I taught Corporate Finance as a flipped classroom. My 30 students had to read two book chapters every week, and I tested them on the readings in every class with clickers, using questions such as this one:

A mortgage where people make the same monthly payment for 30 years is a/an
A. annual percentage rate
B. annuity
C. consol
D. effective annual rate
E. perpetuity

I then went over the relevant material very quickly, and spent most of class time giving them problems to work on by themselves or in groups. The teaching assistant and I walked between the students, checked progress and answered questions. Here’s an example question:

Google “WSJ Why Banks at Wal-Mart” and read the first 3 paragraphs.  What’s the EAR on Anna Proctor’s overdraft?

I gave the students 10 minutes and asked them to work in pairs.

Professor helping students
Professor helping students

Overall, the experience was great: more enjoyable than a traditional lecture, and my students seemed to learn more as well. Their end-of-quarter evaluations reflected their preference for this approach. The only downside was the need to prepare quiz questions to make sure they did the readings, and preparing problems that challenged them but were doable with a bit of help. I will certainly use this approach again.

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