Flipped learning, flipped satisfaction: Getting the balance right

Rosemary Fisher, Bella Ross, Richard LaFerriere, Alex Maritz

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Higher education around the globe is facing transformative change driven in large part by technology. Flexibility of delivery has become a focus for students (Henderson, Selwyn, & Aston, 2015), as an increasingly massified and diverse cohort of students are challenged by the competing demands of work, family and society. Universities, too, are challenged by both increased resource constraints and competition for enrolments. The interest in leveraging transformative innovation in teaching and learning is driven in part by the tantalising promises that technology offers in response to these challenges. The technology-facilitated flipped classroom, where the information transmission component is moved out of face-to-face class time and replaced by a range of interactive activities (Abeysekera & Dawson, 2014), offers a means to address some of the challenges faced by both institutions and students. However, studies of flipped classrooms have shown mixed results in terms of student engagement and satisfaction (Davies, Dean, & Ball, 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2014; Missildine, Fountain, Summers, & Gosselin, 2013) and recent studies have called for further research into the effectiveness of the flipped classroom approach (Abeysekera & Dawson, 2014). We explore students’ perceptions of their engagement and satisfaction with a technology-facilitated flipped approach in a third year core subject at an Australian university during 2015. Our findings reveal that students preferred the flipped class approach to the traditional face-to-face delivery. In post-semester surveys, students reported increased engagement, satisfaction and learning outcomes as a result of both the flipped classroom approach and the use of digital technologies in the delivery of learning opportunities. A striking result from our study, however, is that student satisfaction clearly increased over the semester, with students initially reporting frustration and less satisfaction generally. We propose that initial student dissatisfaction is due to students feeling out of their comfort zone and challenged as they are exposed to a new delivery approach (Henderson et al., 2015). We will argue that the change in satisfaction can be attributed to students’ acknowledging the model structure provided them with a greater opportunity for enjoyment of, and control over, the learning process. This is in line with research that variously finds student satisfaction both does and does not increase with flipped learning (Davies et al., 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2014; Missildine et al., 2013). The implications are that students may require extra support in the initial stages of delivery of a flipped classroom to assist them to understand and take up the challenge of the flipped approach, thereby maximising engagement and satisfaction earlier in the semester. We suggest this need should incorporate a focussed orientation to flipped classrooms. This will involve using digital technologies coupled with a soft start that includes training exercises to upskill students to this new way of approaching their learning. To capture the insights of our conference audience, we will ask audience members to contribute to the discussion by askingquestions and offering solutions.
ReferencesAbeysekera, L., & Dawson, P. (2014). Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 1-14.Davies, R., Dean, D., & Ball, N. (2013). Flipping the classroom and instructional technology integration in a college-level information systems spreadsheet course. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(4), 563-580.Henderson, M., Selwyn, N., & Aston, R. (2015). What works and why? Student perceptions of ‘useful’digital technology in university teaching and learning. Studies in Higher Education.McLaughlin, J. E., Roth, M. T., Glatt, D. M., Gharkholonarehe, N., Davidson, C. A., Griffin, L. M., . . . Mumper, R. J. (2014). The Flipped Classroom: A Course Redesign to Foster Learning and Engagement in a Health Professions School. Academic Medicine, 89(2), 236-243.Missildine, K., Fountain, R., Summers, L., & Gosselin, K. (2013). Flipping the classroom to improve student performance and satisfaction. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(10), 597-599.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - Melbourne Victoria, Melbourne Victoria
Duration: 27 Oct 201530 Oct 2015


ConferenceThe 12th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
CityMelbourne Victoria


  • Flipped learning
  • Flipped classroom
  • Educational technology
  • Student engagement
  • Student satisfaction

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