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.
The flipped classroom will require the instructor to spend outside the classroom time to curate appropriate material. As an instructor, I will have to find appropriate online resources by scouring YouTube videos, TedTalks, and articles. Instructors will probably have to create their own videos to cover exactly what the curriculum requires. Instructors will also be responsible for uploading all this material.
All these resources will have to be categorized and organized so they are easy to find. These resources will also have to be updated regularly to keep current. This again sounds time consuming.
In the classroom, instructors will have to find and introduce activities that will enhance the subject matter. Instructors will also have to make sure the material motivates the students to participate and actually prepare for class (10 Pros And Cons Of A Flipped Classroom).
Instructors who teach in a flipped classroom will have to be well organized and manage time wisely.
As I scoured academic websites for articles related to trends in adult education, I noticed a consistent theme – engagement. In the article Our Top 11 Teaching and Learning Articles of 2016, three of the top 11 were about student engagement. My assignment was to find one article, so I chose The Latest in Engaging the Adult Student Online: Authentic, Meaningful and Real-World Engagement Models which focuses on online engagement.
The article asserted that student engagement was essential for retention and completion of online academic programs and adult online learning must be engaging in three ways.
- Behaviorally by doing activities
- Affectively by experiencing feelings
- Cognitively through thinking
During my Skype meeting with my learning partner, Desiree, I discovered our chosen topics where very similar. Desiree chose the article, Beyond Passive Learning: Problem-Based Learning and Concept Maps to Promote Basic and Higher-Order Thinking in Basic Skills Instruction. She said the article was about a higher order thinking. Instead of students having to memorize facts, students learn about a subject through real-life experience.
This article emphasized textualized learning as a set of teaching and assessment practices designed to
- provide a set of skills and knowledge that is currently relevant to the students’ lives and needs, so they can actively apply them to specific real world tasks and contexts
- include the idea of teaching basic skills that are embedded in the disciplinary content.
I laughed with Desiree at the fact this program was using some of these learning techniques on us. This blog assignment with a learning partner comes to mind.
Link to Desiree’s Blog