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Flipped Teaching with Talis Elevate


As part of a ‘flipped classroom’ pedagogy, Zhiqiong Chen uses Talis Elevate to increase in-class participation. Zhiqiong expects students to arrive at seminars already equipped with some understanding of the topic and instead uses the seminar as a space to test student knowledge through a range of activities. In addition to Talis Elevate, Zhiqiong also uses VeVoxLink opens in a new window and Microsoft TeamsLink opens in a new window to encourage in-class participation. This gives students more opportunities to communicate with Zhiqiong and with each other verbally and non-verbally, using their first or second language.

Zhiqiong uses the Talis Elevate platform in in-person teaching. She uploads a text to Talis Elevate before the seminar so that during the seminar students are able to work individually or collaboratively to read a text, highlight sections, add comments and comment on each other’s comments. Talis Elevate allows students to comment anonymously, as well as post private notes that only they can see. The other advantage of Talis Elevate is that students won’t be able to change texts by accident.

In using Talis Elevate, Zhiqiong aims to increase in-class participation and peer-to-peer communication. Activities designed with Talis Elevate require students to not only give answers but also explain the reason, so she could understand how they processed the information. Zhiqiong can choose to either give instant written feedback on particular student’s comments or verbal feedback at the end of the task. The platform also provides Zhiqiong with a weekly report on participation to show the nonparticipants, which is very useful to know when the task requires individual input. In addition, the platform shows the number of private notes students have taken in each task which to some extent, indicates the aspects where they need extra support.


Zhiqiong ChenLink opens in a new window, School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Lesson plan

  1. Because Warwick University already uses Talis Aspire for reading lists, Zhiqiong found it very easy to set up Talis Elevate for all the modules that she teaches. She then adds the Talis Elevate link of each module to the corresponding module’s Microsoft Teams space, so whenever needed, students can access all the materials through Teams.
  2. At the start of teaching, Zhiqiong sets student expectations by informing the students that she will be using a flipped classroom pedagogy and as such their seminars will be activity-led.
  3. Before the seminar, Zhiqiong uploaded a text under the relevant module in Talis Elevate.
  4. Students work individually or collaboratively during the seminar to read and comment on the text using Talis Elevate platform. All the comments are shared apart from personal notes. Whenever possible, Zhiqiong provides instant written comments on students’ comments and gives verbal feedback on students’ work.
  5. Outside the seminar, Zhiqiong adds more detailed feedback, if necessary, on the text. Students can use shared comments and personal notes for revision. They are also strongly encouraged to use office hours to get feedback and advice from Zhiqiong outside the teaching time.

Tutor's observations

It can be difficult for students to answer questions in front of everybody. In addition, there isn’t enough time in class to allow everybody to talk. In this way everybody can [participate] at the same time.

Student testimonies

“I love learning from other students and getting new ideas. I like how its anonymous and we can all make collaborative inputs.”

“I like the fact that we can always come back to it at a different time and still see our annotations. I also like the personal tab option so we can make our own private notes.”

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