Pause for thought: Flipping in study skills into the curriculum

There have been a number of posts on this blog around implementing flipped classroom learning designs. As these have been released, conversations start, and again the topic comes back to evidence of impact.

Over time there are emerging a number of different teaching and learning models under the banner of the ‘flipped classroom’. These offer exciting opportunities in terms of widening engagement and impact, but also raise concerns around student motivation, and for staff, issues around workloads, skill sets and changing roles.

The flipped classroom is a “pedagogical model that employs asynchronous video lectures, reading assignments, practice problems, and other digital, technology-based resources outside the classroom, and interactive, group-based, problem-solving activities in the classroom.” (Hawks 2014:264).

Importantly, “although there has been little research on the educational outcome as it relates to whether the flipped classroom increases student learning, there has been a lot of indirect research (eg, student and instructor satisfaction surveys) promoting this approach” (Gilboy et al., (2014:110)).

Gilboy et al., (2014) identified in their large scale HE study a very positive perception from students on their learning experience in a flipped model. Evidence is starting to emerge of improvements in examination scores (although not student satisfaction) with flipped teaching models (Missildine et al, 2013). This is really interesting, the empirical evidence of improving examination performance, but students not necessarily liking the teaching model. This might be expected, an effective flipped classroom model does require more continuous work from the student.

While, the learning design within a flipped model also needs to change, Brunsell & Horejsi (2013) argue that showing video lectures alone is not flipping your classroom. They propose the discussion around student motivation and participation require the need to add an active learning experience.

Disappointingly, there has been little published empirical work around flipped classroom techniques for the delivery of study skills within Higher Education.

It is this area of deficiency where people development teams need to place the emphasis. We need to start evaluating the impact of these emerging models on student and staff learning. We are people developers who design learning programmes, the question is, are we able to capture the impact?


  • Brunsell, E. and Horejsi, M. (2013) ‘A flipped classroom in action’, The Science Teacher, 80(2), p. 8.
  • Elevate | University Campus Suffolk (2015) Elevate Team. Elevate | University Campus Suffolk. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2015).
  • Gilboy, M. B., Heinerichs, S. and Pazzaglia, G. (2015) ‘Enhancing Student Engagement Using the Flipped Classroom’, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(1), pp. 109–114.
  • Hawks, S. (2014) ‘The flipped classroom: now or never?’, AANA Journal, 82(264).
  • Missildine, K., Fountain, R., Summers, L. and Gosselin, K. (2013) ‘Flipping the Classroom to Improve Student Performance and Satisfaction’, Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), pp. 597–599.

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