Is It Time to Flip?: Fourth Grade Students' Self-Perceptions of Scholastic Competency and Flipped Learning

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The purpose of this presentation is to report the preliminary results of a study designed to explore the relationship between fourth grade students’ self-perceived scholastic competence and their perceptions of flipped learning experiences. Results revealed that students that did not feel as smart as other students did not enjoy completing flipped lessons.

Presenters

Dr. Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of North Texas. Her research agenda includes examining the factors that impact the implementation of educational technology in schools, the information seeking behaviors of youth, and the leadership development and roles of school librarians.

Extended Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to report the preliminary results of a study designed to explore the relationship between students’ self-perceived scholastic competence and their perceptions of flipped learning experiences.

Research Methods: A quantitative research design was implemented using three self-administered paper-based questionnaires. The participants in this study consisted of a purposive sample of 26 fourth grade students in a single class. The students completed flipped lessons at home to learn research skills. The teacher followed-up each lesson with in-class discussions and activities to reinforce the skills.

Students were read a script by their teacher to introduce them to the questionnaires. The script assured them that they were taking a survey instead of a test.  Then the teacher read the questionnaires aloud for the students and paused while they completed each question.

The first questionnaire collected information about how students use computers and electronic devices for learning and fun. The second questionnaire was the Scholastic Competence subscale from Harter’s (2012) Self-Perception Profile for Children. The scale is designed for children to explore their own “cognitive competence, as applied to schoolwork” (Harter, 2012, p. 6). The scale consists of 6 items that describe attitudes and behaviors relevant to academics. Students then decide if the statements are sort of true or really true. The last questionnaire asked questions about their experiences with the flipped lessons. The first two questionnaires were administered on the same day before the flipped lessons began. The last questionnaire was administered after the flipped lessons concluded.

After the data collection, it was determined that only 21 responses were usable. All data was entered into SPSS. The researcher acknowledges that the sample size is small and is not generalizable.

Findings: The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Spearman rank correlation. A majority (57.1%) of the students indicated that they liked using computers to learn. The rest indicated that they were neutral (38.1 %) or strongly disagreed (4.8%). When the relationship between their preference for using computers for learning and their desire to complete flipped lessons was examined, a significant relationship was not found. There also was not a relationship between the students’ preference for using computers for learning and their Scholastic Competency Scale averages.  

However, there were significant relationships between the desire to complete flipped lessons and affinity for using technology to learn (rs= .620, n=21, p=.007). The more a student enjoyed using technology to learn, the more they enjoyed the flipped lessons. A significant relationship was found between the desire to complete flipped lessons and whether a student felt as smart as the other kids their age. The more students felt they were not as smart as the other students their age, less likely they were to want to complete the flipped lessons (rs= -.458, n=21, p=.037). Finally, there was a significant relationship between the desire to complete the flipped lessons and the feeling that lessons made class time better (rs= .568, n=21, p= .007). Naturally, students that wanted to complete the flipped lessons were more likely to feel that the lessons improved their time in class.

Practical Implications: Designing flipped lessons for elementary students is a major undertaking. The preferences of students should be considered. In addition, it is important to determine if students have the needed equipment at home to complete the flipped lessons. While some students may be naturally drawn to the lessons because of their general self-perceptions of their scholastic competence, students that do not feel competent in their ability to complete lessons will feel inadequate if their lessons are not completed before class. Further research is needed with a bigger sample to determine how to accommodate elementary students’ needs when considering flipped lessons. Otherwise, introducing flipped lessons at an early stage may be counterproductive and harm a student’s self-esteem.

References

Harter, S. (2012). Self perception profile for children. Retrieved from https://portfolio.du.edu/SusanHarter/page/44210.