Trends in Adult Education: Post #3 – “Aha Moment”

The flipped classroom is a combination of two learning theories; constructivist ideology and behaviourist principles. It is the active, problem-based learning activities of constructivism and the direct instruction from behaviorism (Kurt, 2017, p.212).

But is a flipped classroom good for everyone? A study conducted in 2012 involved two introductory biology classes. The study was conducted to compare a traditional lecture model with a flipped classroom approach. At the end of the study, “students in the flipped classroom had higher scores on tests and quizzes than the students in the lecture class” (Kurt, 2017, p.212). Another study in 2014 flipped a pharmaceutics course with 162 students and the findings revealed an increase in students’ learning and their perceived value of the model (Kurt, 2017, p.212).

These reports boast that a flipped classroom is the way to go but what do students think? Studies have found students who are accustomed to traditional lectures may initially resist the concept of flipped classrooms (Rotellar, 2016, p.3).  Some students disliked the onus of self-learning, some perceive the workload will be too rigorous, while others felt anxious about the potential for an unsettled classroom (Rotellar, 2016, p.3).  “These are legitimate fears rooted in years of familiarity with learning in traditional classroom environments and, therefore, may take considerable time to overcome” (Rotellar, 2016, p.3).  The students in the studies I quoted where 1st year students so could have the age of the participants affected the outcome of the results? I do not think it is far off to suggest that older students would be more likely to dislike learning in a flipped classroom. Unfortunately, I could not find a study to prove or disprove this, but this is something I will keep in mind if I find a student or students who are struggling in a flipped classroom setting.

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