Flipped University Class: A Study of Motivation and Learning

Ying Xiu, Penny Thompson
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 19  •  2020  •  pp. 041-063

This study aims to explore the relationship between motivation and students’ perspectives, learning performance, and use of online course materials in flipped classrooms.

The flipped classroom model is an innovative instruction method that has limited research to date exploring its impact on motivation. It remains unknown if the same motivation patterns exist in flipped classrooms as in purely face-to-face or online learning environments.

Fifty-nine undergraduate students’ expectancy beliefs (control beliefs about learning, self-efficacy) and value beliefs (task value, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation) were measured by subscales adapted from Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Students’ final grade percentage represented their learning performance. Regression analysis was used to explore the ability of motivational characteristics to evaluate how well the five motivational subscales predicted participants’ perspectives of a flipped class.

The results of this study suggest that students have similar motivation patterns regarding their learning performance in flipped classrooms as in traditional or online classrooms. Overall, students reported positive motivational beliefs towards a flipped classroom.

Results indicated that students in a flipped classroom also show a positive correlation with motivation regarding their learning performance as in traditional or online classrooms. Self-efficacy is a significant predictor of both students’ academic achievement and perceptions of the flipped classroom. Overall, students had positive attitudes towards the flipped model but indicated neutral attitudes when asked if they wished to take another class taught in a flipped format.

The findings suggested that instructors should set up pre-class activities related to credits that account for the course grade to reinforce students’ effort spent on course preparation. The results of this study suggest that students’ previous experiences of flipped classrooms and online learning may not always affect their motivational beliefs, learning performance, and perceptions of the course format in a flipped classroom. However, a large number of online materials may cause fatigue and make students unwilling to use all the online materials.

The flipped classroom model is a valuable teaching strategy that can be applied at any educational level to maximize learning time, but continuing research is needed in the field to improve the effectiveness of this approach and facilitate learning among all students, including those with low self-efficacy beliefs or overall motivation.

While the flipped learning model challenges instructors to shift emphasis from providing content to designing active learning experiences, this role remains vitally important for facilitating in-class activities, scaffolding out-of-class preparation, and effectively implementing the flipped design.

This research did not use control experiments to eliminate other confounding variables. This study explored relationships between motivation and flipped learning but did not prove cause and effect. Whether students in a non-flipped learning classroom have a higher or lower motivation is still unknown and more empirical studies are still needed in the field for assisting instructors who want to adopt this teaching style with better practices.

motivation, learning outcome, flipped classroom, undergraduate course
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