Digital Learning Design Lab

Save the lectures for homework

Alain Lempereur

A few digital tools helped Prof. Alain Lempereur fundamentally change the way he teaches his Responsible Negotiation course - flipping it on its head.

How do you get students to understand the practical steps of negotiating through a project, contract, or crisis? Prof. Alain Lempereur has his students engage in a semester long negotiation process in HS 244: Responsible Negotiation.

Negotiation skills cannot just be studied: the necessary skills should be practiced and improved upon. Prof. Lempereur needed to give students opportunities to not only learn how to negotiate through reading and writing, but to practice through real-world simulations. When he came to our instructional design team, he knew that in order to give students enough time to do this, he’d need to move the lectures he usually delivered in class online. “Flipping” his classroom - that is, using class time to apply the skills and concepts learned through reading or absorbing instructional materials - freed up the opportunity for students to work together on teams for sustained periods through negotiation processes. Our team helped Prof. Lempereur produce a series of videos which allowed him to restructure his teaching.

Before class, students watch a lecture recorded by Prof. Lempereur and do any assigned reading. During class, students join their team and simulate a structured negotiation scenario. They’re responsible for playing various roles and reporting back the results of the negotiation. After class, students reflect on the process in their own journals which are be submitted later. Through habitual practice and preparation of various perspectives, students gain crucial skills in working on teams, mediation, and conflict resolution within a professional setting.

Professor Alain Lempereur giving a lecture on active communication

Prof. Lempereur used Groups within LATTE to distribute simulation role materials to student teams, ensuring that students only received information about their position in the negotiation. With the preparation for this course entirely online, students were able to learn in a truly hands-on manner during the reserved class time, when they were with their peers. The recorded video lectures that Prof. Lempereur provide added benefits to students. Students can pause them to reflect or take careful notes, and watch them when they are most prepared to learn. And unlike some lectures, they are short and digestible, meaning they are more likely to capture and retain student attention. As Prof. Lempereur put it, "These changes have freed so much time for in-class interactions with the students and among them. I cover much more ground than before without being stressed. Before I felt I was always running in class. I feel students work much more than before."

Utilizing LATTE’s features can preserve important in-person time without losing any of the value of the assignments or instructional materials. Prof. Lempereur’s redesign project demonstrates a truly innovative approach to teaching that puts students directly in the center of the learning process.