To flip or not to flip: social science faculty members’ concerns about flipping the classroom

Abstract

Flipped Classroom (FC) is a blended learning approach being promoted in higher education in recent years. It flips the conventional pedagogic arrangement so that students use the out-of-class time to conduct lower-order learning and the in-class time to conduct higher-order learning. Nevertheless, unlike the adoption phenomena in other academic disciplines such as Science, Engineering, Medicine and Education in university teaching, the adoption of FC in Social Science has been rare. This paper reports on a quantitative study (n = 152) in which the Stages of Concern model was employed to probe into the concerns of Social Science faculty members (SSFMs) about introducing FC into their teaching practice. The study reveals that the participants were having strong categorical concerns of “Information” and “Management.” The findings shed light on designing more precise interventions for addressing SSFMs’ actual needs when flipping their classrooms, providing a useful reference for researchers and practitioners who are pursuing work on promoting FC in higher education.

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Acknowledgements

Thank you very much to all SSFMs who participated in the present study, especially the five SSFMs who participated in the focus group interview.

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Correspondence to Morris Siu-Yung Jong.

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Appendix

Appendix

A: Items in the SoC questionnaire

SoC construct Item
When I think about the adoption of FC in my teaching practice, how much am I concerned about the followings?
Evaluation E1 How many colleagues in my faculty now are flipping their classrooms
E2 My faculty dean’s attitude towards FC
E3 The global popularity of FC in higher education
E4 Whether the LMS in my university can facilitate my adoption of FC
Information I1 Whether I have fully understood the pedagogic idea of FC
I2 Professional development training for learning more about FC
I3 How to design adequate pre-class learning activities for FC
I4 How to design adequate in-class learning activities for FC
Management M1 Time demanded for developing the pre-class materials for flipping my classroom
M2 My technical competence in developing the pre-class materials for flipping my classroom
M3 Whether students will be willing to finish the pre-class activities of FC
M4 Whether students will actively participate in the in-class activities of FC
Consequence C1 Enhancing my students’ higher order thinking through FC
C2 Enhancing my students’ understanding of their learning role in FC
C3 Collaborate with other SSFMs to design the resources for implementing FC
C4 A community for exchanging SSFMs’ experiences in implementing FC
Refocusing R1 Enhancing the current use of FC based on my experiences
R2 Enhancing the current use of FC based on my students’ experiences
R3 Using FC in more courses that I am teaching
R4 Expanding the scope of adopting FC in my faculty

B: Guiding questions asked in the focus group interview

  1. 1.

    When and where did you first learn FC?

  2. 2.

    To what extent are you familiar with the pedagogic idea of FC?

  3. 3.

    Do you think you are technically ready to flip your classroom?

  4. 4.

    What kinds of support should your university provide you with in order to facilitate you to try FC in your teaching?

  5. 5.

    Can you picture how your students will perform in a FC setting?

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Jong, M.SY. To flip or not to flip: social science faculty members’ concerns about flipping the classroom. J Comput High Educ 31, 391–407 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-019-09217-y

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Keywords

  • Flipped classroom
  • Stages of concern
  • Social science faculty members
  • Blended learning
  • Higher education