The flipped classroom is an instructional strategy developed by Sams and Bergmann (2012) and is linked to previous research on peer instruction by King (1993). The flipped classroom has become the buzz word and is getting more popular among educators. It is a pedagogical model where the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. In-class lectures are replaced with online videos, audio files, readings and other non-online materials for students to view and complete out of class. Direct instruction moves from a group learning space to the individual learning space and the teacher’s role is to guide students with the content and concepts. Learners have the opportunity to engage with peers in participative learning activities during class time in a dynamic and interactive environment.
The researcher incorporated flipped tutorials for humanities subjects for Key Stage 3 and 4 while teaching on The Scholars Programme for The Brilliant Club. This study will present findings from a pilot study and students’ feedback of using the flipped classroom approach in two secondary schools in West Midlands, United Kingdom for the academic year of 2015/2016. The flipped tutorials gave students some degree of control over their time, place and path of learning and helped them with preparation before attending the tutorials, contributing to in-class discussions and other learning activities.
A total of 36 students took part in this study, 12 each from three schools. There were 6 students each from Year 7 and Year 8, 18 students from Year 9 and 6 students from Year 10.
Data Collection Process
The data collection for this small scale action research was conducted by giving feedback cards to students and researcher’s notes in order to make observations and comparison on the students learning to make improvements for the next cycle and next cohort of students. The research used the learning management system (LMS) of the Scholars Programme developed by ‘The Brilliant Club’, a virtual learning environment (VLE) for the flipped tutorials.
In Autumn 2015/2016, the researcher taught Philosophy for a Key Stage 3 Programme in a girls’ school in Birmingham. The researcher piloted the use of flipped tutorials for two lessons using a quiz and brainstorming questions. Some of the challenges included students’ inablility to access resources sent via the VLE due to lack of internet access at home and many students did not have Microsoft word document to do their homework and sent a notepad file to the tutor via the VLE which could not be viewed. The tutor made some changes to the materials for the next cohort by including videos and informed students to log in to the VLE and send the tutor a test message after the first tutorial to ensure they had internet access and could communicate via the VLE.
Data Collection: Cycle 1
The following Spring Term, the researcher taught a Humanities Key Stage 4 Programme in another girls’ school in Birmingham. The researcher’s aim was to introduce learning flexibility and improve the teaching method of flipping tutorials for instructional contact with students. The flipped tutorials were conducted in three tutorials, incorporating brainstorming questions, online quizzes and videos which were linked to homework tasks and supported classroom discussions. Feedback cards were given to students during the last tutorial to gain information on how far the flipped tutorials helped them.
Data Analysis & Findings
Some of the findings included all 100% of students stated the flipped tutorials are new to them and they watched all the videos sent by the tutor. However, 75% of students stated that the flipped tutorials helped them to learn the materials the same as the traditional classroom and 25% stated that it helped them to learn better. In order to make the flipped tutorials better, 16.7% of students wanted more videos, 58.3% wanted more discussion time during tutorials, 8.35% wanted more homework before tutorials and 16.7% wanted more activities to aid understanding during tutorials as well as more examples to guide them to do homework.
Data Collection: Cycle 2
In the Summer term of 2015/2016, the researcher will incorporate the flipped tutorials in a co-educational school in Coventry and include additional resources such as videos, a framework for essay writing to improve the activities for the tutorials. Students’ feedback will be obtained in August 2016 during the last tutorial and will be presented in the findings of this paper.
This paper presents findings from the practice of implementing flipped tutorials for humanities subjects and the observations made throughout the process on students learning and feedback received from students in a pilot study in a secondary school followed by implementation of flipped tutorials in two secondary schools in West Midlands. The data from students’ feedback on their learning using the flipped tutorials are discussed in relation to the context and limitations in the study. The researcher will also present a comparison of the findings from Cycle 1 and Cycle 2.
Keywords: Flipped classroom, Learners feedback
Bergmann, J. & Sams, A. (2012) Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. International Society for Technology in Education.
King, A. (1993) From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side. College Teaching, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Winter, 1993), pp. 30-35.