Evaluating Instructional Effects of Flipped Classroom in University: A Case Study on Electronic Business Course

Evaluating Instructional Effects of Flipped Classroom in University: A Case Study on Electronic Business Course

Wenlong Zhu (Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao, China) and Wenjing Xie (Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao, China)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJDET.2018010103
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Flipped classroom provides the new ideas and ways for the innovation of university pedagogical mode. Nowadays instructors may apply this new approach to liberal arts majors in university class in order to make up for the problems of low instructional effects in traditional teaching method. From the subjective and objective perspectives, this research analyzes experimentally the similarities and differences of instructional effects among traditional teaching method, semi-flipped classroom approach and full flipped classroom approach in electronic business course in university. The results show that two kinds of flipped classroom approaches can produce better instructional effects relative to traditional teaching method. Moreover, semi-flipped classroom approach is more suitable for liberal arts specialties in university compared to full flipped classroom approach. Lastly, flipped classroom approach only achieves its instructional effects after a period of time.
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Nowadays, there are some problems in traditional pedagogical mode in university, such as indoctrination lectures, exam-oriented lectures, disconnection between theory and practice, and so forth. These problems not only lead to the mental and physical exhaustion of instructors, but also reduce the effectiveness of instruction. More importantly, this traditional pedagogical mode gets university students into the habit of passive acceptance, which is not beneficial to improving the self-learning abilities and individuation. Presently, a growing number of instructors, university students and communities are trying to seek a new pedagogical mode to improve the teaching quality and learning environment. In this circumstance, flipped classroom, a new teaching method arisen in recent years, provides the new ideas and ways for the innovation of university pedagogical mode.

The concept of the flipped classroom was proposed by Bergmann and Sams (2012). They recorded class lectures and provided the videos online to enable students to watch and review the teaching contents more conveniently. This teaching method attracted the attention of the public at that time. Then, Salman Khan explained the connotation of flipped classroom in making a speech on Re-creating Education with Video at the Technology Entertainment Design Conference in 2011 (Katie, 2012). Since then, flipped classroom was known by many instructors gradually, and became a global concern of pedagogical mode quickly (Zhang, Wang, & Zhang, 2012). So far, there are diverse definitions of the flipped classroom. One of the most common is ‘‘Recording in-class activities to convey a course: Students watch the video before the class and use the class time to solve complex concepts, answer questions, and students are encouraged to learn actively as well as create bonds with daily lives’’ (Stone, 2012). However, other scholars believe that the way of self-learning before class is not only confined to videos or the Internet. As long as proper learning contents and suitable guidance are offered to the students, similar learning objectives could be achieved (Kim, Kim, Khera, & Getman, 2014). Essentially, flipped classroom refers to the pedagogical model that reverses the knowledge impartment process and knowledge internalization process in traditional teaching method (Bergman & Sams, 2013). It is in the knowledge impartment process that students learn and memorize knowledge imparted by instructors. In the knowledge internalization process, students need to understand knowledge actively and incorporate it into their own knowledge systems after a series of exercises. The potential advantages of flipped classroom are as follows. Firstly, this approach can enhance the interaction between instructors and students, and also provide a good self-learning environment. Secondly, instructors will be mentors who directly guide and participate in learning. Thirdly, teaching materials can be saved permanently. Absentees will have an opportunity to make up the courses. Besides, all students can learn the course contents at any time. In short, flipped classroom is expected to produce better instructional effects. However, in real university classroom, we wonder whether flipped classroom can lead to better instructional effects as expected. Practically, instructional effects are the key to talents training mode. From this point of view, this study will have a critical impact on the reform of university teaching approaches by exploring the instructional effects of flipped classroom.

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