Factors with Influence on the Adoption of the Flipped Classroom Model in Technical and Vocational Education

M. Teresa Villalba, Guillermo Castilla, Sara Redondo
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 17  •  2018  •  pp. 441-469

The aim of this work is to explore which factors impact on the adoption of the flipped classroom in vocational education to pave the way for the schools which want to apply this model.

Although various experiences in the use of the flipped classroom have been reported in recent years in the literature, fewer efforts have been done on how to implement this model from a pedagogical standpoint. The factors that influence its adoption have not been studied in depth, at least not in a global way. These factors include the use of technology and teaching methodologies active in the classroom, the trend towards innovation of teachers and schools, and whether teachers have the necessary ICT training and infrastructures. Moreover, although the results of many experiences in Higher Education have been published, this is not so for other levels of education, such as vocational schools.

A quantitative research method was used by constructing a questionnaire. The questionnaire included open questions in order to obtain qualitative information, which enriched the results obtained. Descriptive and factor analysis was used to analyze data, within the framework of the project FlipIT!–Flipped Classroom in the European Vocational Education”, ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership (2015-1-HU01-KA202-013555) funded by the European Union, with the participation of Hungary, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Spain. The research sample includes 625 teachers (434 from Spain, 121 from Hungary and 61 from the Czech Republic) from schools participating or somehow associated to the project.

An empirically validated framework of the factors influencing the adoption of the flipped classroom approach in schools was obtained. This framework can guide the curriculum design of flipped classroom model courses for vocational education teachers.

Empirically validated factors for the adoption of the flipped classroom in technical schools are presented.

In addition, descriptive analysis results from a sample of 625 vocational education teachers confirmed that the countries involved in the survey fulfill the factors needed for the adoption of the flipped classroom in vocational education schools. Another important result is that, according to the surveyed teachers, the flipped classroom is a strongly practice-oriented method very suitable for vocational education.

The framework here presented can guide the curriculum design of flipped classroom model courses for vocational and technical education teachers and allow schools to know the factors to review and improve in order to use the model.

This study is a first step toward determining the factors needed for the adoption of the flipped classroom model in vocational and technical schools. More studies using alternative data sources and methods are needed to obtain a definite model to support this adoption since FC has proved to be a very successful model for motivating students. We hope these results pave the way for schools who want to adopt the FC model and for focusing teaching training on the competences that this work detected.

Recently, we are witnessing an important debate about the future of education at every level. Different innovative methodologies have emerged in a search for more motivating and effective ways to learn, as well as to develop in our students the so-called 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration, creativity, and information, media and technology skills. The flipped classroom approach can help to improve vocational education by changing traditional classes and teaching students other important soft skills, such as teamwork and collaboration, reflection, digital skills, and self-study.

The model is currently being implemented in schools in Spain, Hungary, and the Czech Republic using the results obtained here under the framework of the European project “FlipIT!–Flipped Classroom in the European Vocational Education”, ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership (2015-1-HU01-KA202-013555). After checking the criteria obtained in the framework for each of the participating schools, as a first step, an online course has been created using the competences obtained in this framework, both pedagogical and ICT. Once the course is completed, the teachers will carry out a pilot project to use the model. We hope the framework is useful to other researchers in order to implement the model in other countries and extend it with other criteria to obtain a validated international framework. This study is a first step toward determining the factors needed for the adoption of the flipped classroom model in technical schools. More studies using alternative data sources and methods are needed to obtain a definite model to support this adoption since FC has proved to be a very successful model for motivating students. We hope these results pave the way for schools who want to adopt the FC model and for focusing teacher training on competences.

flipped classroom approach, inverted classroom, active learning, educational technology
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