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Flipped or flopped?: First Year University Students' Perspectives and Experiences of the Flipped Classroom Strategy

Improving Learning Strategies in Education

Discussant Information

Dr. Fongkong Mungal

Author Information:

Roland Birbal
University of Trinidad and Tobago
Iris Hewitt-Bradshaw

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 2
Date: 1st June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Research in developed countries suggests that the flipped classroom is a successful strategy to enhance student learning (Morgan, 2014). ?This qualitative study was conducted in a Caribbean context to examine first year university students? perceptions and experiences of the flipped classroom strategy for course delivery by teacher educators. In this constructivist approach, educators used the Blackboard Course Management System (BbCMS) to upload learning materials for students to access before coming to class for presentations and discussions. The study addressed the main question: ?What are first year students? perceptions and experiences of the use of the flipped classroom strategy for the delivery of courses at university level???Data were first collected from students using an open-ended questionnaire. In the second stage, two groups of students were purposively selected to participate in a focus group interview, and a review of BbCMS student records. Our framework for analysis was Bristol?s (2012) theory of plantation pedagogy. ?Findings suggest that the use of the flipped classroom strategy presented challenges for students. There was little student ?participation in online discussions, and few read online resources before coming to class. In addition, classroom discussions were still mostly teacher directed, with little input from students. A reliance on educators as the main source of knowledge persisted, with reluctance by some to assume an independent role in their learning. We conclude that although students generally approve of the flipped classroom, colonial structures which have persisted in an authoritarian education system challenge effective use of the strategy in the classroom.