Unbundling teaching and learning in a flipped thermal physics classroom in higher education powered by emerging innovative technology
The emergence of open online courses and flipped classrooms has brought new opportunities to unbundle the traditional university. This study aimed to investigate a thermal physics classroom integrated with an open online learning mode to afford various learning strategies for students in Taiwan. Moreover, we examined students' preferred learning modes by adopting a quasi-experimental design with questionnaires, pre-test and post-test scores, self-reported journals and interviews. A total of 89 students participated in the study. The instructor allowed all students enrolled in the class to choose their own preferred learning modes. All students had full access to all course materials in both open online course and traditional face-to-face learning contexts throughout the whole semester. We examined the learners' academic performance in each learning mode and surveyed their perceptions of the course. The findings of this study indicate that information technology can transform teaching and learning in a thermal physics classroom and challenge the instructor to tailor the course to meet students' diverse needs. Significantly, students adopted five learning modes, consisting of face-to-face, web facilitated, alternative blended, online learning and flipped learning. This study provides a valuable reference on how traditional on-campus higher education institutions could be unbundled to create student-centred learning approaches.
Implications for practice or policy:
- Educators could design a flexible delivery model, allowing students to choose five learning modes, consisting of face-to-face, web facilitated, alternative blended, online learning and flipped learning in terms of their learning style and time management.
- For students with sufficient background knowledge, the flipped learning mode provides the best learning performance.
- This study could provide administrators, educators and instructors with insights and new approaches in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and improvements in their course policies.
Copyright (c) 2021 Hui-Chun Hung, Shelley Shwu-Ching Young
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