More on the flipped classroom

18 Aug

Recently, I blogged about a medical school that has adopted the flipped classroom model of instruction. In the flipped classroom, instruction is delivered in video presentations that the students watch on their own time and classroom time is used for practice and review.

As I indicated, I am open to the possibility of that the flipped classroom might offer advantages over traditional instruction. It seems plausible that students might benefit from high quality video presentations that they can watch over again and pace their progress through material.

Subsequent to my post, I have talked to a couple of students who have taken flipped classes, and their reviews were negative. They did not like having to wait to engage with the teacher over the ideas raised in the material. Of course, this is anecdotal and it could be that many students do benefit from this instructional technique.

However, I was just reading through the most recent issue of Teaching of Psychology and came across this article: “The Benefits, Drawbacks, and Challenges of Using the Flipped Classroom in an Introduction to Psychology Course.”

Here is the abstract:

Flipped pedagogy has become a popular approach in education. While preliminary research suggests that the flipped classroom has a positive effect on learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and quantitative courses, the research on the flipped classroom in a content heavy social science course is minimal and contradictory. We flipped four class topics in an introduction to psychology course, evaluated resulting student attitudes, and compared students’ performance on the flipped units to their performance on traditionally delivered content. We found mixed results for the effectiveness of the flipped classroom that were moderated by student characteristics and experiences with previous online or flipped courses. Students reported an overall preference for traditional classroom delivery but suggested retaining the flipped approach for some class periods.

By the way, I highly recommend Teaching of Psychology to instructors of other subjects. It is true that it focuses on teaching psychology content, but since many of the authors have backgrounds in learning theory, I think the research they publish would be of interest outside of the psychology.

3 Responses to “More on the flipped classroom”

  1. Kathy H August 18, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    Maybe a blended lecture/flipped approach would work best depending on the subject matter. Also, many schools seem to push the online classes, which do not seem that different from the flipped approach.

  2. Enrique Guerra-Pujol August 18, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for these pointers. When I was in college, I loved attending lectures, so I hope we don’t phase all lecture classes out just to follow the latest fad.

    • Kathy H August 19, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      I agree!! In some of my classes, I had the most wonderful professors who gave excellent and interesting lectures. Those were the classes I felt that I learned the most!! Usually, but not always, they were adjunct professors that had real world experience.

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