COMPARING STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTITUDES IN UNDERGRADUATE FLIPPED AND NON-FLIPPED CLASSROOMS: A MIXED-METHODS STUDY

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Today’s classrooms are filled with a diversity of students of different cultural backgrounds, languages, and socioeconomic statuses, and these differences can impact the students’ learning styles and outcomes. To meet their individual needs, the focus of educational institutions has been on transforming the role of teachers from lecturers to “guides on the side” by developing student-centered active learning strategies and employing effective instruction. A flipped classroom model of instruction is student centered and grounded in the constructivist theory of learning and serves as a potential instructional model to achieve these goals. Recently, a movement has emerged in higher educational institutions in Saudi Arabia toward developing student-centered active learning strategies and employing technology for effective instruction. It is a relatively new phenomenon in Saudi Arabia, and empirical research that examines its effectiveness in higher education is sparse. The purpose of this sequential explanatory mixed-methods study was to compare undergraduate female students’ achievement in flipped and non-flipped classrooms and to explore their attitudes toward this model with a convenience sample (n=28) of two groups. One was a treatment group (n= 14, flipped classrooms were employed), the other, a control group (n= 14, traditional classrooms were employed). Quantitative data were collected using a non-equivalent comparison group pre/post-test design. Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews (n=9). The quantitative data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA, ANCOVA, and Eta squared to identify statistically significant differences in the female students’ academic achievement regarding students in flipped classrooms. The qualitative data explored students’ attitudes toward flipped classrooms and were analyzed using open coding strategy. The findings showed that students in flipped classrooms had a higher achievement level than students in traditional classrooms. Moreover, depending on the nature of the class, students had positive attitudes toward flipped classrooms as well as provided information regarding their learning styles and the benefits and challenges of this model.
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