FLIPPING THE CLASSROOM – ONE SIZE FITS ALL(MOST)?
Fontys Academy for Creative Industries (NETHERLANDS)
Since its introduction in the 2000s, flipped learning has been a hot topic in education. In the fall of 2014, a course on communication skills was successfully flipped at Fontys ACI (Kolen, 2015), and repeated in 2015, with the subject becoming the most popular of the curriculum. Other successful results have been published (Brame, 2012 amongst others), but an increasing amount of research shows that flipped learning is not necessarily the better option.
For instance, Ryan and Reid (2016) report no overall differences in exam performance between a flipped and traditional course. Jensen, Kummer & Godoy (2014) show that ‘improvements from a flipped classroom may simply be the fruits of active learning.’ Both studies report no significant difference in student evaluations between a traditional and flipped course.
With these varying results, one might wonder: why try flipped learning at all? But even without the guarantee of higher scores, numerous arguments in favour can be given. The teacher gains time in class for face-to-face coaching, which students value greatly (Jensen et al. 2014; Hlinak, 2016; Ryan & Read 2016). They appreciate the concept of blended learning (Wing Bo Tso, 2015; Ryan & Reid, 2016) and find flipped lessons to be more engaging (Brame, 2012; Ryan & Read, 2016). Flipped learning also allows students to pace and time their own learning (Brame, 2012; Hlinak, 2016).
Students currently enrolled in higher education belong to ‘generation Z’ (Robbins, 2014). Teaching millennials is a challenge, with their shortened attention span and decreased tolerance for traditional lecture settings (Roehl, Reddy & Shannon, 2013). The ability to pay attention is considered such an essential life skill that the lack of it has become a widespread medical problem (Lehrer, 2011).
Creative people tend to be more easily distracted (Lehrer, 2011). Especially at the Academy for Creative Industries, with creativity as one of the pillars of education, it can be expected that students struggle, maybe more than in general, with paying attention to traditional lectures. This paper explores in what way flipped learning can be used constructively for creative minds and creative studies in general.
 Brame, C.J. (2012). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved March 15 from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/files/Flipping-the-classroom.pdf.
 Hlinak, M. (2016). Flipping and MOOCing your class or: How I stopped worrying and love the MOOC. Journal of Legal Studies Education, 33(1), 23–35.
 Jensen, J.L., Kummer, T.A., & Godoy, P.D.d.M. (2014). Improvements from a flipped classroom may simply be the fruits of active learning. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 14, 1-12.
 Kolen, B. (2015). Flipping the classroom. A pilot for a practice based course. ICERI2015 Proceedings, 1424-1434.
 Lehrer, J. (2011). Bother me, I’m thinking. Retrieved March 30 from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703584804576144192132144506.
 Robbins, P.A. (2014). Get Ready for generation Z: Teaching methods that address different learning styles. M-PBEA Journal VI(1), 27-32.
 Roehl, A., Reddy, S.L., & Shannon, G.J. (2013). The flipped classroom: An opportunity to engage millennial students through active learning. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 105(2), 44-49.
 Wing Bo Tso, A. (2014). Reflections on blended learning: A case study at the open university of Hong Kong. AAOU Journal, 10(1), 77-86.