Flipped learning in a progressive middle school science classroom
McMahan, Jeffrey Robert
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With a variety of digital learning resources available to students anywhere at any time, it is possible to rethink how the classroom time and space is used. In simple terms, flipped learning moves direct instruction learning activities such as lectures and teacher explanations that have traditionally been in the classroom space into the homework space, where these lessons take the form of teacher-prepared or -curated videos. Classroom time and space is then made available for small group and independent active learning, the types of activities that have traditionally been done outside of school. This study investigated the effects of flipped learning on student comprehension, engagement, and collaboration. The study also examined how this newly available class time was utilized by students and the teacher, and how flipped learned affected student-teacher relationships. Comprehension was assessed through quizzes and open-ended concept modeling activities. Engagement and collaboration were assessed through surveys, student interviews, and qualitative teacher observations. While there were no major differences in comprehension or engagement, students were found to collaborate more organically and flexibly. Some students used the greater class time to slow down and go deeper on assignments, while some disengaged from effective collaboration in this context. Student-teacher relationships became more robust with the teacher knowing more about students as learners and individuals, and more able to address misconceptions and answer individual questions.