Flipped Classrooms

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Susan Hotle

The flipped classroom is becoming increasingly popular at universities due to its perceived benefits in promoting active learning and decreasing educational costs.  Studies have found positive benefits associated with flipped classrooms; however, many have failed to control for confounding factors; examples of confounding factors include studies that compare courses taught by different instructors and/or across courses taught in different semesters using different quizzes).

The objective of this research is to compare the traditional and flipped classrooms in an undergraduate civil engineering course while controlling for potential confounding factors.  The quasi-experimental study incorporates students’ online behaviors, in-class performance, office hour attendance, and their responses to both attitudinal and behavioral questions to assess student opinions and learning outcomes.  It was found that student performance on quizzes was not significantly different across the traditional and flipped classrooms.  A key shortcoming noted with the flipped classroom was students’ inability to ask questions during lectures.  Students in flipped classrooms were more likely to attend office hours compared to traditional classroom students, but the difference was not statistically significant. Future research should explore whether students’ inability to ask questions when the material is presented in flipped classrooms impacts learning outcomes.

Publications resulting from this research:

[1] Hotle, S.and Garrow, L.A. (2016). Effects of the traditional and flipped classrooms on undergraduate student opinions and success. ASCE's Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 142(1): pp. 11.

[2] Hotle, S. and Garrow, L.A. (2015). Flipped and micro-flipped classrooms. OR/MS Today 42(1): 12-13.

[3] Garrow, L.A., Hotle, S. and Mumbower, S. (2013). Investigating student learning and attitudes in a switched-role, interactive environment. OR/MS Today 40(4): 10.