Flipped Learning in Higher Education Chemistry: Emerging trends and potential directions

Michael Seery


Flipped learning has grown in popularity in recent years as a mechanism of incorporating an active learning environment in classrooms and lecture halls. There has been an increasing number of reports for flipped learning in chemistry at higher education institutions. The purpose of this review is to survey these reports with a view to examining the rationale for adopting the flipped learning approach, how educators have implemented the flipped learning approach into their own practice and how these implementations have been evaluated. The reports are analysed for emerging themes on the benefits and challenges of integrating this approach in chemistry education at university level, with a view to understanding how we can continue to develop the approaches taken for implementation of flipped learning methods in higher education chemistry. Analysis of the articles surveyed indicate that the approach is highly popular with students, with educators adopting it as a means of developing an active learning environment, to increase engagement, and to allow time for developing a deeper understanding of the discipline. Despite the approach being open-ended in terms of how it can be implemented, there is some uniformity in how it has been adopted. These approaches are discussed, along with lessons learned from evaluations, with some suggestions for future iterations so that the implementation relies on evidence-based methods.



Framed within cognitive load theory and constructivism, Seery (2015) provides a survey review of 12 articles in higher education chemistry. He specifically draws attention to recent reports indicating first-year chemistry as detached and being delivered in a fact-based and encyclopedic fashion. Moreover, he shows that most flipped learning approaches in the literature consist of providing screencasts of material in advance of class meetings that is often incentivised (e.g. quizzes, activites), resulting in student viewing rates greater than 90 percent. During lecture time, he finds many of the studies report group work and presentation of pre-class material. Overall, students reported much higher favorability of this approach relative to other approaches they have experienced. In sum, Seery (2015) calls for the community to further develop the theoretical basis for implementing a flipped learning classroom.

APA Citation

Seery, M. (2015). Flipped learning in higher education chemistry: emerging trends and potential directions. The Royal Society of Chemistry, 16, 758-768.

About the Study

Links to Article http://pubs.rsc.org/-/content/articlehtml/2015/rp/c5rp00136f
Mode Flipped
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication The Royal Society of Chemistry
Type of Research
Research Design
Intervention/Areas of Study
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size
Citing Articles