In recent years, universities have shown greater interest in a student-centered approach to learning. Rather than seeing students as passive recipients of information, these new approaches give them more autonomy in their learning. One way to do this is through a flipped classroom, an education model that incorporates both classroom activities and online lectures. Although this method has a strong theoretical basis, it’s critical to understand how the different elements of a flipped classroom impact its effectiveness.

Researchers at the University of Iceland investigated how students’ lecture-viewing behavior in a flipped classroom impacted learning outcomes. Over a semester, 120 students in a graduate research methods course participated in the study. The students worked on a research project during class and received 12 lecture recordings for outside study. Researchers examined student data from the recording platform, including time and date accessed, frequency of views, and time spent watching.

They found that the students who spent more time watching the recordings were more likely to receive a higher grade. Viewing time accounted for approximately 10% of the variation in student grades. Women and older students were more likely to watch recordings repeatedly. Overall, they saw student viewing drop over the semester, with a slight recovery right before final projects were due.

These results suggest that the use of online recordings in a flipped classroom has an effect on student learning. It’s important for researchers to dig deeper into why many students can’t seem to keep up with the recordings throughout the semester. Insight into this behavior could unlock new possibilities for this teaching method.

Heijstra, T. M., & Sigrún, M. (2018). The flipped classroom: Does viewing the recordings matter? Active Learning in Higher Education, 19(3)211–223.

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