Flipping the classroom might not be easy, but it puts higher ed students at the center of learning to promote better results.
Results of a survey of 1,089 Faculty Focus readers, between June 15, 2014, and July 20, 2014.
What’s a Flipped Classroom?
One of the most interesting themes that emerged from this survey is the amount of confusion about what “flipped” means. Much of the contention about whether a flipped classroom leads to enhanced learning seems to point toward the different ways educators define or conceptualize it.
When asked to define/describe the flipped classroom in their own words, respondents varied in their description.
Some relied on the definitions related to leveraging technology (i.e., videos of lectures), while others described it in terms of active, student-centered, collaborative learning strategies.
The terminology and definitions are causing confusion, but most scholars and survey respondents seem to agree that active learning and student-centered learning approaches are the foundational principles of the flipped philosophy, and the value of this approach is that it can lead to enhanced student engagement, motivation, and learning, if done well.
Highlights from the 16-page report include:
- More than two-thirds (69.5%) have tried flipping an activity, class, period, or course, and plan to do it again.
Another 5.49% have tried flipping, but don’t plan to do it again.
- Roughly one-third (31.8%) of those who have flipped did so within the past year.
- The majority of faculty who have flipped rated the experience as positive for themselves (70.3%) and their students (64.8%).
- In terms of the actual benefits, nearly three-fourths did see greater student engagement (74.9%), while just over half saw evidence of improved student learning (54.66%).
- More than 80% said students are more collaborative and 76.61% said they ask more questions, while almost half (48.75%) also noted some student resistance.
- The most frequently reported barrier for faculty who want to try flipping is limited time. Nearly 70% said it was a very significant challenge (38.1%) or a significant challenge (31.61%).
- Of those respondents who are not interested in flipped learning, 38.9% said they don’t know enough about it and 27.4% felt it was a fad.
Survey respondents sound off on pros and cons of flipping
“The lines have become blurred and people talk about flipped classroom in ways it was never originally designed. The technology-enhanced, non-rigorous flipped classroom should not be confused with research-based active learning pedagogies.”
– Associate professor at a four-year public institution
“It’s very dependent on how well students can be motivated to do the work outside class. When they’re not willing, it’s worse than traditional methods.”
– Instructor at a public, four-year Canadian research-intensive university
“Students in my face-to-face classes thrive on an active learning environment in which they are engaged in a variety of activities.”
– Adjunct professor at a two-year institution
“There is more work involved. It takes more preparation and more emotional energy to be this involved with students.”
– Instructor from a public, four-year institution
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