Effective and innovative teaching practices should be utilized within higher education to keep pace with advancing technological tools to improve student learning and to reach the needs of a new generation of students. Flipped classrooms are one such innovative teaching strategy beginning to take hold in higher education. Flipped classrooms differ from a traditional lecture format in that students are instructed to review online sources, lecture videos, or audio recordings before class, allowing the instructor to use face-to-face class time to facilitate the application of course content and promote higher levels of critical thinking.
A study conducted by the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) used data from an extended item set on flipped classrooms within the 2018 annual survey administration. Over 1,300 faculty members across 18 institutions served as the sample respondents for an investigation weighing the costs and benefits of implementing a flipped design. The following research questions were explored within the analysis;
1) How does having a flipped course relate to effective educational practices?
2) What kinds of faculty and what types of courses are more likely to be flipped?
3) What factors strongly motivate faculty to flip courses?
4) How does the amount of time faculty spend on teaching-related practices differ in flipped and traditional courses?
Results of the study indicate that faculty members with flipped course designs are more strongly intentional in having course goals related to student learning (d = 0.56, p < .001) and place higher emphasis on Higher-Order Learning (d = 0.49, p < .001) than their peers in traditional classrooms. Other notable findings show that faculty of color, particularly Asian (AR = 2.0, p < .01) and African-American (AR = 3.0) are more likely to teach a flipped course, while White faculty (AR = -3.7) are least likely to teach a flipped course. Motivations for teaching a flipped course most substantially reflected improved student outcomes through higher levels of content comprehension. Additionally, it was noted that the most prominent challenges observed within teaching a flipped course were getting students to view materials outside of class, along with increased faculty time spent on preparing class sessions, grading assignments and exams, and overseeing course administration.