Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Investigating the Potential of the Flipped Classroom Model in K-12 ICT Teaching and Learning: An Action Research Study

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Investigating the Potential of the Flipped Classroom Model in K-12 ICT Teaching and Learning: An Action Research Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) curricula are a core priority of educational policies worldwide, for cultivating students' diverse digital competences (Commonwealth of Australia, 2010; US Department of Education, 2010; Eurydice, 2012). These digital competences are considered a core strand of the 21st century skillset and industry work-force requirements are shifted towards attaining and exploiting such competences (OECD, 2014). Thus, ICT educational curricula have been increasingly required to effectively cultivate student digital competences by promoting more student-centred teaching approaches (e.g., Balanskat & Engelhardt, 2015). For example, the project-based approach has been positively evaluated in the context of K-12 education as a promising method to effectively engage students in the learning process and to develop their digital competences (e.g., Wang et al., 2016; Tsai et al., 2015).

Furthermore, on top of exploiting such student-centered teaching approaches, educational innovations such as the Flipped Classroom Model (FCM) have also been studied for improving learning experiences and competences. The FCM has been proposed as a method to maximize the use of teacher-supported face-to-face classroom-based sessions towards delivering hands-on activities and individual scaffolding. To achieve this, it opts for substituting the traditional teachers' lecture with appropriately designed educational resources which can be engaged by the student in an autonomous manner (Bergmann & Sams, 2012).

The FCM has received a growing level of research attention given the promising results that showcase its capacity to enhance teaching practice and deliver (among others) better students' cognitive learning outcomes and motivation in a wide range of subjects and educational levels, including ICT and STEM (Giannakos et al., 2014). However, regarding ICT teaching, existing FCM research has been solely addressed in Higher Education, where a large body of research exists that provides positive evidence on the potential of FCM to provide enhanced student experiences. Despite this evidence, however, no explicit focus has yet been placed on evaluating the FCM in the context of K-12 ICT teaching. This presents an important challenge, especially considering the range of successful implementations of the FCM in other compulsory school education subjects.

Thus, the contribution of this paper is to address the aforementioned issue and evaluate the FCM within the context of K-12 ICT curriculum. More specifically, the work presents the design and implementation of an action research for evaluating the capacity of the FCM to enhance students' learning experiences from a range of perspectives, namely (a) cognitive learning outcomes, (b) distribution of different types of learning activities during the face-to-face sessions, (c) levels of motivation during the learning activities, and (d) level of students' engagement during the learning activities.

The remainder of the paper is structured as follows. The Background section defines the FCM and describes existing research work on its implementation in Higher Education to enhance students' learning experiences. The Research Methodology section presents the design and methodology of the action research. The Results section presents the findings of the action research in terms of the four research questions defined. Finally, the Discussion and Future Work section presents the conclusions drawn and outlines potential strands of further research.

Background

The Flipped Classroom Model (FCM) is an emerging blended learning model, which argues for improving the student-centered exploitation of face-to-face sessions, by minimizing teacher lecture and increasing students' active learning and collaboration (Bergmann & Sams, 2012). Teacher-facilitated face-to-face sessions can provide students with unique learning experiences through direct access to both their classmates (for collaborative activities) as well as to feedback and scaffolding by their teacher (DeLozier & Rhodes, 2016). …

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