Student perspectives of independent and collaborative learning in a flipped foundational engineering course

Wendy H Fox, Paul David Docherty


Flipped teaching and learning approaches are being increasingly used in higher education. Some advantages associated with the approach include providing opportunity for self-directed learning and enhanced collaboration between students. In this study, an implementation of a flipped approach in a first year foundational engineering dynamics course was researched to investigate student views on independent and collaborative learning inherent in flipped learning. Eighteen undergraduate students (11 male and 7 female) participated in this qualitative study. The flipped part of the course was designed to include self-paced independent learning and in-class learning, with opportunities to collaborate, ask questions, and work on examples. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews. The results of the study indicated that students universally enjoyed learning independently and appreciated the increased collaboration induced by the flipped approach. The flexibility of the approach enabled a range of approaches to independent learning and collaboration, and students were able to find learning styles that suited them. This article concludes with a range of recommendations for practice to further support independent and collaborative learning with the use of flipped approaches.


flipped classroom; independent learning; collaboration; higher education; engineering education

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