Blending and flipping learning : a journey in innovative curriculum design and delivery : a case study exploring teachers' understandings and perceptions of blended, flipped learning : a thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education (eLearning), Massey University
Historically, lecturing has been the dominant form of teaching within tertiary
institutions, however the past decade has seen a shift of focus away from the lecturer
as the source of all knowledge. As learning and teaching approaches change to meet
the needs of a changing society, research is needed into how the academic staff
involved in these new methods understand these approaches and deal with them.
There is a move towards pedagogies that are more authentic, contextual and social in
nature, as these are perceived as more appropriate to equip learners with the skills
they will need to participate in a constantly changing societal context.
This research study aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions and
experiences of staff involved in creating and facilitating a curriculum innovation
involving new courses that were blended and flipped.
Twenty-five staff members from a tertiary institution in New Zealand took part in
the study. Participants held a range of roles and were all actively involved in the
curriculum innovation. This thesis adopted a qualitative case study research approach
using information gained from a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews.
While understandings of blended and flipped learning were varied among
participants, the perceived benefits of a blended, flipped model included flexibility,
increased digital literacy, opportunities for the improvement of self-directed learning
skills among students, the freeing up of class time for exploration, the development
of critical thinking and problem-solving skills and allowing learners to lead and direct
their learning. The challenges in design were deciding on the best use of online and
face-to-face spaces, designing engaging online activities, having knowledge of
appropriate online tools and platforms to use and time. Facilitation challenges
included managing and building student’s self-directed learning skills, keeping
students engaged online, giving timely feedback to students, and managing group
By gaining valuable insights into teachers’ understandings of the blended and flipped
methods that they were working with, these findings may help to inform institutions
using a similar context.