Faculty Focus


Survey Confirms Growth of the Flipped Classroom

A survey conducted by the Center for Digital Education and Sonic Foundry found that 29 percent of faculty are currently using the flipped classroom model of instruction, with another 27 percent saying they plan to use it within the next 12 months.

Findings for the survey revealed:

  • The top factors driving U.S. colleges to embrace flipped classrooms include: the ability to provide a better learning experience for students, greater availability of technologies that support the model and positive results from initial trials.
  • Among those employing it already, 57 percent of faculty agree that their flipped classroom is “extremely successful” or “successful”, citing key student benefits of “improved mastery of information” and “improved retention of information”, at 81 percent and 80 percent of responses respectively.

Among the biggest challenges with flipped classrooms reported in the survey are the need for professional development to support the model and the amount of time it takes to create course content or reformat existing content. In fact:

  • 75 percent of faculty indicates that preparing for a flipped classroom takes more time than a traditional class.
  • Despite this, the overwhelming majority – 83 percent of faculty – “strongly agree” or “agree” that the model has positively impacted their attitude towards teaching.
  • Another 86 percent “strongly agree” or “agree” that student attitudes have also improved since adopting the flipped classroom.

“Based upon my experience, the benefits of the flipped classroom model far outweigh the challenges, and I’ve seen the difficulties associated with implementing the model decrease over time as efficiencies are realized,” said Ralph Welsh, lecturer, Clemson University. “It has also allowed me to tailor my classroom time more toward answering specific student questions and discussing the material at a more applied higher level of thinking.”

Additional highlights from the survey include:

  • The greatest faculty advantages reported are: “more classroom activity/discussion/collaboration”, the “ability to adjust instruction styles on a per student basis”, and “better student performance/grades”.
  • While “business/economics”, “natural sciences” and “engineering” ranked as the disciplines most suitable for the flipped classroom mode, more than one-fourth of respondents – 26 percent – indicate that they plan to use flipped classrooms across all disciplines.
  • 69 percent agree that the ideal classroom size for the model is 11-30 students.
  • More than half (51 percent) of faculty record their own video content for their flipped classroom.

“Based on both our research and actual use cases, the flipped classroom model is critical in shifting our educational approach from a passive one to an active one that better prepares college students for their careers ahead by engaging them in the material,” says Joe Morris, Director of Research and Analysis, Center for Digital Education. “Flipping classrooms is at the center of today’s blending learning approach, and is one that makes best use of both faculty and student time when deployed effectively.”

Survey methodology:
The Center for Digital Education conducted a survey of higher education faculty members to better understand flipped classroom adoption. In total, 309 responses were collected from the members of the Education Exchange, in an online survey during August to October 2013.

While the results from this survey cannot be projected upon the entire population, the results are reflective of those who are members of the Center for Digital Education’s Education Exchange with a maximum sampling error in this survey of +/- 5.6 percentage points at 95% confidence.

An on-demand webcast of the findings is available at Sonic Foundry.