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How Does a Flipped Classroom Impact Classroom Climate?

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Classroom Practice I: Active and Collaborative Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Stephanie Butler Velegol Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Stephanie Butler Velegol has been teaching Environmental Engineering courses in the Civil Engineering Department at Penn State for 7 years. She has pioneered the use of Flipped classes to increase active leaning in the classroom. In addition she has worked with dozen on undergraduate students on a sustainable process using the seeds of the Moringa tree to produce clean water in developing communities around the world.

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Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Sarah Zappe is Research Associate and Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She holds a doctoral degree in educational psychology emphasizing applied measurement and testing. In her position, Sarah is responsible for developing instructional support programs for faculty, providing evaluation support for educational proposals and projects, and working with faculty to publish educational research. Her research interests primarily involve creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship education.

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This research paper describes an investigation into the impacts of a flipped pedagogy on student-perceived classroom climate. Flipped classrooms have gained considerable attention lately. It has been shown that delivering technical content via online modules frees up class time for active learning and increases both peer interaction and student-faculty interaction. Here we ask the question: Does the flipped model also increase the supportive nature of the learning environment. Classroom climate, as well as self-efficacy and value, have been shown to improve students motivation for learning. We used the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) to assess the classroom climate in both the flipped class and various control classes that were not flipped. This inventory includes seven psychosocial dimensions of classroom climate: personalization, involvement, student cohesiveness, satisfaction, task orientation, innovation, and individualization. Our specific research questions were: 1. Do students perceive a more positive classroom climate in a flipped classroom vs. a traditional lecture-based course when controlled for course content and instructor? 2. What psychosocial dimensions were most impacted by the flipped pedagogy?

One group of students (Group “A”) had just completed the flipped course. The second group (Group “B”) consisted of students who had just completed the same course, but taught in a traditional format. This was to control for the effect of the course material on students’ motivation and interest. The third group (Group “C”) consisted of students who had just completed a different engineering course taught by the same instructor in a traditional format. This was to control for a different instructor. The groups were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA. The responses were analyzed based on each of the seven subscales within the CUCEI, as well as on an overall score combining all seven subscales.

Our results show significant difference between the three groups based on overall score and on some of the subscales. Turkey post-hoc tests reveal that Group A (flipped) is significantly different from both Group B and Group C based on overall scale and in the individualization subscale. We observe significant differences only between the A and B or C for Involvement, Student Cohesiveness, Task Orientation, and Innovation. We observed no significant differences between these groups in the subscale of Satisfaction and Personalization.

The implications of these findings on flipped classrooms are important to those faculty wishing to flip their course. An improvement on the Individualization subscale indicates that students are allowed to make decisions and are treated differentially according to ability, interest, and of rate of working in a flipped classroom. This shows that a flipped classroom can be tool for differentiating instruction in engineering classrooms. We will discuss the implications of this study on the other subscales and how the flipped classroom can be altered to possibly increase these subscales as well.

Velegol, S. B., & Zappe, S. E. (2016, June), How Does a Flipped Classroom Impact Classroom Climate? Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25479

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