The effects of the flipped classroom instructional model on student outcomes in a ninth grade earth and space science classroom
Physical Setting Earth Science in New York State is an appreciation course with a curriculum of great breadth and moderate depth. New York State requires a high stakes exit exam that all students must pass in order to receive their academic diploma. The assessment is content and reading-comprehensive, and it requires that students use a 16-page reference table to interpret graphs and charts for about 40% of the questions. Many teachers find it difficult to treat all sections of the curriculum with the time that it deserves unless they are simply teaching to the test. Some of the content is too abstract for many ninth grade students, thus considerable time should be spent on practice in class. Practicing with students in class burns time that teachers would normally use to deliver information. The Flipped Classroom Instructional Model was designed to deliver the traditional classroom lecture through a video screencast as a homework assignment. Students are told to watch videos at home, take good notes, write down any question that they have, and come to class the following day prepared to have their questions answered and to practice the concepts. Could this model work for a ninth grade Physical Setting Earth Science class in rural, western New York? Data collection for this project included two weeks of traditional classroom teaching methods for the non-treatment unit, delivering content about relative age in geologic time. It also included two weeks of implementing the Flipped Classroom Instructional Model for the treatment unit, delivering content about absolute age dating methods in geologic time. Instruments used included pre-and post unit content assessments, classroom assessment techniques, surveys, interviews, and journals. Results revealed that flipping the classroom was most beneficial to students with Individualized Education Plans, below-average achieving males, and average-achieving females. Above-average students showed marginal benefits. Below-average achieving females and average-achieving males did not appear to benefit from the treatment.