Constructivism : the effects of the flipped classroom instructional model on high school senior AP biology students

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Montana State University - Bozeman, Graduate School


Evaluating the effectiveness of the flipped classroom method of instruction on high school senior AP Biology students was the focus of my action research project. I was interested to see if the flipped classroom would impact my students understanding of the concepts required by the College Board. Additionally, I wanted to see the effects of the flipped classroom on students' higher-order thinking skills and their ability to complete inquiry-based labs. Finally, I wanted to determine the effects of the flipped classroom on my role as an AP Biology teacher. I chose to move my lectures outside of the classroom and had students watch my pre-recorded lectures accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation for a homework assignment. Two separate Biology units were observed, one included the flipped classroom model and the other was taught using routine teaching strategies and traditional lecture format. Students were also required to participate in an online discussion of the video lectures and were assessed on their understanding of the video content the following class period by a quiz. Students were surveyed prior to the treatment and following the treatment regarding their understanding of the flipped classroom as well as the concepts to be covered during the intervention. A select group of students were interviewed pre and post treatment to glean their ideas about the flipped classroom and its effects. The majority of student feedback thought the flipped classroom was effective in learning the concepts, increasing student teacher interactions, increasing their higher order thinking skills and helping them complete an inquiry based lab. Data from assessments did not support an increase in understanding in the flipped classroom as opposed to a traditional classroom, however the gap between the two classes of AP Biology students was narrowed by the use of the flipped classroom. Overall the flipped classroom did not appear to have a significant impact on student learning, however, for many students the increase in understanding was encouraging and their reaction positive.




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