Flipped Learning

“Flipped” or “blended” learning is where pupils undertake some of their learning outside of the classroom (e.g. watching videos the night before that explain a new concept). This frees up the teacher’s time to focus on more useful classroom activities, such as providing formative feedback and giving more personalised support to pupils who are struggling. It also gives pupils more control over their own learning, leading to the development of better general learning skills. It is generating substantial interest, particularly in the United States.

Shireland Collegiate Academy has been using technology and flipped learning in its classrooms for several years, and believes that it is able to take the model to other schools. This will involve helping schools to set up the online learning environment for flipped learning, providing training and resources on how to get the most out of the flipped learning approach. It will also involve supporting teachers to use widely available resources and activities and sharing/developing some of its staff’s own materials. These are usually activities for pupils to complete and feedback on ahead of the lesson, allowing the teacher to enter the class with a good understanding of the pupils’ areas of strength and weakness.

The project also looks at how a secondary school can support primary schools to raise the performance of Year 5 and 6 pupils in Maths, particularly at the upper levels of ability

Why are we funding it?

Flipped learning is an innovative approach that has not been rigorously evaluated in English schools to date. Flipped learning is based on the idea that by moving away from a ‘traditional’ classroom, teachers can focus more on practices that are well-evidenced and are shown to have an impact – such as better feedback, more meta-cognition and greater collaborative learning. Shireland is widely acknowledged as a leading school in its use of technology.

How are we evaluating it?

The EEF partnered with Nominet Trust to co-fund projects focusing on the use of digital technology in raising the attainment of disadvantaged children. This was one of the seven projects we co-funded. You can read the announcement of this partnership here.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The impact evaluation will be conducted by the Institute of Effective Education (IEE) from the University of York, led by Peter Rudd and the process evaluation will be undertaken by the University of York’s Education Department. The evaluation is set up as an efficacy trial. Efficacy trials aim to test whether an intervention can work under ideal conditions (e.g. when being delivered by the intervention’s original developer) in greater than 10 schools.

The impact evaluation will be a randomised control trial with 24 schools randomly allocated to begin the treatment in either September 2014 or a delayed treatment in September 2015. Randomisation will be undertaken by IEE with schools being matched by key indicators. Pupils will be pre-tested in Year 5 and post-tested a year later in Year 6 with a reliable standardised measure of maths attainment. Key Stage 2 SATs will be used as an additional post intervention measure a term later.

Click here to view the evaluation protocol