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Turning Learning On Its Head: A Review Of The Flipped Classroom Strategy

Glenn Mason,
Lynnae Venaruzzo

Western Sydney University

Background: Western Sydney University is a major metropolitan university in Sydney with campuses that cover a wide geographic area. The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate units that are administered by schools and higher degrees. At present, vertical campuses are on the rise due to the physical affordances of the available spaces, such as seen in the flagship Peter Shergold building in Parramatta city. The focus of these buildings is to promote active, student-centred learning by providing a physical space that is more conducive to group work and project based learning than traditional lectures. Courses that run through these campuses have been required to undergo substantial curriculum and delivery changes. In 2017 these changes necessitated the adoption of a ‘ flipped’ design to teaching and learning. The flipped model addresses constraints on space through its emphasis on the delivery of content knowledge using online delivery and teaching and learning that focuses on active learning in a classroom setting.

The objective of this research is to examine the impact of the adoption of the flipped model on student learning and teaching practice.

Methods: This is a mixed methods study and it will use data available from general institution-wide survey, data from surveys about flipped learning and interview data from focus groups. The aim will be to use this data to address the following questions:

  1. How has student learning been impacted by the flipped environment?

  2. How have teaching practices changed with the introduction of the flipped environment?

Expected outcomes: The flipped model has become increasingly popular in higher education contexts although the evidence to support its continued use is uneven (O’Flaherty & Phillips, 2015). This research will contribute to the body of literature on the efficacy of flipped classroom and to extend our understanding of how the flipped model can contribute to a student- centred model of teaching and learning. Preliminary findings provide evidence for its wider adoption at the university.