The Impact of Flipping Classrooms

Rationale

Schools in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world that are still actively using the traditional teaching models are having difficulty in competing on a global scale. The quality of education is reflected in the performance of the students, and it is apparent that the traditional teaching methods are gradually becoming obsolete in the developing nations. The Saudi Arabian government has intensified its investment in education to enhance its competitiveness in the region by producing highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals.

In this light, it is essential for the Saudi Arabian education system to look into developing a new approach to the teaching model in schools. This approach is particularly required in the elementary level of learning to acquaint the students with a new learning model early in their schooling days. It is apparent that the performance of the students at the elementary level is below average, especially in math.

Flipping classroom is a viable method in helping students improve their performance in different subjects, and it should be implemented in the Saudi Arabian schools. It is also apparent that the flipping classroom teaching models also motivate the teachers because they use technology to impart faster learning in their students. The method is quite viable in helping students learn different subjects more efficiently. It is only logical that the schools in Saudi Arabia should adopt flipping classrooms to enhance learning speeds for the students in different levels of learning. This research is geared toward validating the feasibility of flipping classrooms with respect to the performance of students at the elementary level.

Limitations

This study uses a quantitative approach to reveal the impact of using the flipping classroom method on elementary students, with respect to their performance in specific subjects. The proposed method of data and information collection is using surveys; thus, the study has a specific target of the participants. It is apparent that having elementary students filling the surveys is not possible; hence, the study will have to rely on the sentiments of the teachers and parents. This method of data and information collection is likely to propagate bias in the results. The study also faces the challenge of finding schools that have adopted the use of the flipping classroom method.

Definition of terms

  • Flipping Classrooms: This is a method of teaching that entails doing homework and covering lectures at home through videos.
  • Education Technology: This is a collection of different scientific approaches to teaching and learning, which are designed to solve some fundamental issues in education.
  • Human bias: This is a deviation from the rational judgment of a given issue.
  • Elementary school: A school for children in their early learning stages.
  • Instructional design: Specific approach used for teaching.
  • Cognitive power: This is the ability of the learner to comprehend ideas.
  • Fundamental issue: An issue that must be addressed.
  • Verbal lectures: Learning instructions that are delivered by word of mouth in class.
  • Quantitative approach: Studies that use numerical data to investigate the relationship between the given variables.

Literature review

As the educational system in different parts of the world experiences fundamental changes, the Saudi Arabian government should also look into adopting some of the viable changes. Many scholars have conducted extensive research work to establish the feasibility of different instructional designs, and their findings have helped teachers in developing better teaching models. Cara A. Marlowe (2012), of the Montana State University conducted a longitudinal research to reveal the effects of using flipping classroom with a close focus to stress in students.

The research used a sample space of 19 students. The students were observed for several months while undergoing learning in a traditional environment. They were later placed in a flipped classroom learning environment, and observations were made on their attitudes. Marlowe’s findings indicate that the students portrayed minimal stress while learning in the flipped classroom environment.

The traditional learning system was quite stressful for the majority of the students, and they indicated that the flipped classrooms were best suited to enhance their learning speeds (Marlowe, 2012). This study revealed that the flipped classrooms are better suited to influence faster development in the cognitive power of students at all levels of learning, including the elementary level. They eliminate the need for the teachers to keep pressuring the students to learn.

According to researchers investigating the topic of flipping learning, the adoption of this method in schools leads to the development of a new approach to learning. The new approach entails a shift from delivering instructions at a group level to an individual-based instructional system. The effectiveness of the system lies in its ability to help students individually by giving them personalized instructions depending on their areas of weakness in their academics (Hamdan, McKnight, McKnight & Arfstrom, 2013).

For instance, different students have different learning capabilities, and delivering content in the curriculum through verbal lectures might be disadvantageous for some students. Teachers using the traditional teaching processes face the challenge of using too much time ensuring every student grasps the content in their lectures. With the flipped classrooms, the teachers can provide specific lectures to students depending on their strengths and weaknesses. This approach means that students who perform poorly in mathematics at the elementary level can have their teachers providing the appropriate assistance through the videos.

Nicholas Zaranis conducted a qualitative study to investigate the relationship between the use of ICT in teaching mathematics and the performance of students in the first grade. Zaranis (2014), used a sample space of 234 students from Athens and Crete. The experimental sample consisted of 113 students, and the control sample had 121 students. The experimental sample was placed in an ICT learning environment where they were given a lesson in geometry.

The control sample was given the same lesson, but through the traditional teaching method. Both samples took tests on their dexterity in geometry before and after the experiment. The results revealed that the use of ICT in learning provides a more suitable learning environment, and it captures the attention of the students. The experimental sample recorded higher results in identifying and drawing geometrical shapes (Zaranis, 2014). These findings reveal that the use of flipping classrooms, which is dependent on learning through ICT, is a viable method for improving performance in math.

According to Bill Tucker (2012), flipped classroom teachers are instrumental in developing an appropriate teaching model that can attain the required learning results for different subjects. Tucker states that flipping classroom method is effective if the instructions provided through videos are designed on an individual-based approach for the students. Tucker argues that the teachers have the power to determine the performance of their students in different subjects. In addition, he states that the adoption of flipping classrooms eliminates the monotony of lecturing, and it also makes class time interesting for the students.

One of the main reasons that students fail in math is because of the boring lectures offered through the traditional teaching models. Students lose interest in the lectures, and this translates in poor academic performance. The incorporation of ICT in learning makes the lessons more interesting, and handling homework in schools makes consulting with the teachers easier (Tucker, 2012). Technology also makes it easier for the students to refer to the previous lectures.

Flipping classroom influences the development of an environment where the students can teach each other. In the traditional teaching approaches, teachers give instructions through lectures, but in a flipping classroom method, they allow the students to answer questions and discuss to find the appropriate answers. The teachers only have to make the rounds in class to help the discussion groups whenever they are stuck.

This involvement in learning gives students the power to influence each other’s learning. This approach enables timely correction of student’s misconceptions of different ideas (Berrett, 2012). Math is one of the complex subjects for students in the elementary level of learning, and its learning is associated with numerous misconceptions. The flipping classroom method can effectively eliminate the misconceptions held by individual students; thus, helping them to learn more efficiently. Learning math entails the application of extensive practice, and the flipping classroom method is suitable for providing ample time for practice.

According to Houston and Lin (2012), flipping classroom teaching method has solved the fear that the use of technology in learning may result in less concentration among the students. Flipping classroom teaching approach inverts the homework and lecture equation to come up with a different outlook on the delivery of instructions for the teachers. In essence, the method entails the development of an outlook that values problem-solving in class and the delivery of content through pre-recorded videos.

The videos play a major role in educating the students because they can be easily saved and watched again if the students fail to grasp some ideas. Houston and Lin reveal that the successful implementation of the method can help students master any subject within a short time. In such a system, the teacher is also able to provide the students with individual based assistance in class (Houston & Lin, 2012). In conclusion, the various studies that have been conducted indicate that the flipping classroom approach is a viable model in solving the fundamental issues in learning for students in Saudi Arabia.

Methodology

Sampling

The study will focus on establishing the impact of flipping classrooms on the learning process of mathematics for students at the elementary level. The research will use a sample space comprising the teachers and parents, and some of the students.

Instruments

The research will use a quantitative approach, and the data and information will be collected through surveys. Teachers and parents will reveal the performance of the students in mathematics prior and after their exposure to flipped classrooms. The students participating in the study will also take part in the survey to reveal their attitudes toward the flipping classroom model.

Procedure

Fifteen surveys will be distributed in three schools that have adopted flipping classrooms as their teaching model. Each school will receive five surveys, which will be filled by one teacher, one parent and three students. The students may get some assistance in handling the surveys because they are required to be at the elementary level of learning. Quantitative data about the performance of the students before and after the adoption of the flipping classroom teaching method will be collected and analyzed.

References

Berrett, D. (2012). How ‘flipping’ the classroom can improve the traditional lecture. The chronicle of higher education, 12(1), 1-14.

Hamdan, N., McKnight, P., McKnight, K., & Arfstrom, K. M. (2013). A review of flipped learning. Web.

Houston, M., & Lin, L. (2012). Humanizing the classroom by flipping the homework versus lecture equation. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, 2012(1), 1177-1182.

Marlowe, C. A. (2012). The effect of the flipped classroom on student achievement and stress. Web.

Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next, 12(1), 82-83.

Zaranis, N. (2014). The use of ICT in the first grade of primary school for teaching circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on Interaction Design in Educational Environments, 1(1), 81-88.