The use of flipped classroom as an active learning approach improves academic performance in social work: A randomized trial in a university

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Background The flipped classroom (FC) is a pedagogical approach that means that the activities that have traditionally taken place within the classroom are carried out outside the classroom. Fundamentally it implies the way in which the student studies the subject. This change of perspective in teaching—learning has raised many questions regarding its effectiveness and student satisfaction in the university studies in the degree of Social Work. Objective The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a Flipped Classroom methodology in the academic performance of students of the Social Work Degree. Methods An educational study, with two parallel groups was developed. The randomization was carried out by class groups. Group 1 was assigned an active teaching methodology of Flip Teaching and it was implemented during theoretical teaching hours. The other group of students, Group 2, was assigned a traditional lecturer-based learning (LB) methodology. The participants were all the students of the morning shift who studied the subject Social Work with Groups of the Social Work Degree during the academic year 2017–2018. The sample was composed of 110 subjects, with 60 subjects who developed an active teaching methodology and 50 subjects who received a LB. Results In terms of the academic performance result variable, the FT group had a mean of 6.56 (SD: 1.58) and the LB group had a mean of 5.42 (SD: 1.97) (p-value: 0.002). The FT group also had a higher percentage of students receiving merit and outstanding scores (34.5% and 6.9% respectively) and a lower percentage of students who failed (19%) as compared to the LB group in which 20.9% and 2.3% of the students received merit or outstanding grades and 46.5% failed (p-value = 0.025). No significant differences were found with regards to satisfaction with the subject and the methodology used, long-term learning and time spent preparing for the exam. Conclusions The FC teaching methodology in comparison with the LB methodology has shown to be a more effective tool regarding academic performance evaluated in a quantitative and qualitative way with regards to Social Work education at university level.




Blázquez, B. O., Masluk, B., Gascon, S., Díaz, R. F., Aguilar-Latorre, A., Magallón, I. A., & Botaya, R. M. (2019). The use of flipped classroom as an active learning approach improves academic performance in social work: A randomized trial in a university. PLoS ONE, 14(4).

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