INVERTED INSTRUCTION METHODOLOGIES IN UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES: AN APPROACH OF USING A FLIPPED CLASSROOM SETTING IN A SCIENCE COURSE AT THE TEACHER TRAINER SCHOOL

Inverted instruction methodologies are a relatively new teaching-learning strategy, in which the lectures take place outside of the classroom, and the in-class time is used to complete the activities that were traditionally done at home. Therefore, in-class time is spent to clarify all those concepts which show more complexity by doing collaborative or practical activities. This instruction methodology claims that direct instruction, by means of lectures, is not effective in a courses with high number of students, but it is effective in small groups or when delivered individualized. This new instruction methodology, also known as “flipped classroom”, claims to provide a better way to engage students with the learning process, and therefore would allow to achieve better learning goals. Thus, this research assesses the students’ performance and perception when an inverted instruction methodology is followed in a general science course of the undergraduate program of the primary education bachelor of the teacher training school of the University of Extremadura (Spain) during 2014/15. In order to gauge the proposed instruction methodology, the students’ class was divided in two groups. The first group (control group) a traditional teaching methodology was applied, while the second group (focus group) followed a flipped classroom model. For this group, different flipped materials, such as video lectures and other written materials, were delivered to the students through the virtual class platform. Students were asked to revise and study autonomously these materials before the class. On-line questionnaires and quizzes were used to assess the students’ progress during the course. Once the course was done, learning achievements were compared between the two groups of students, and a post-task survey was conducted to evaluate the students’ perceptions and opinions of the inverted instruction methodology. This preliminary study shows that the general achievements gained by the students following the flipped classroom course were significantly better than those following the traditional teaching setting. Besides, students have a general positive opinion about the inverted instruction methodology.