- It details the preliminary “impressions” of professors engaged in a three year study that will end in 2016. Despite having run flipped classes, they are in week three of that study.
- It mentions that flipped models might not work for philosophy, because it’s difficult to come up with “real-world problems” to which one could apply philosophy. This despite the fact that philosophy classes (like many humanities classes) are largely already flipped.
- It has no mention of sample size, methodology (other than the most basic information), controls, or quantitative findings.
- It is not clear whether the teachers teaching flipped classroom had any training or experience in the methodology, despite having what looks like a depth of experience in lecture methodologies.
- Hilariously, the article dates the flipped classroom trend to 2007.
What’s more depressing than this is the mass of otherwise intelligent people on Twitter seeing this as either supporting or rejecting nuanced claims. Come on, people.
Asking whether flipped classrooms “work better” is like asking which medication or treatment works best for someone’s psychological problems. Not a specific problem, mind you, just psychological problems in general. What’s the one best pill/treatment at any dosage for depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, and/or agnosia?
Well, what you’re actually treating matters. Medication dosage matters. Therapy method and frequency matters. Therapist competence matters. Regimen compliance matters.
What research actually checks is whether specific regimens are effective for specific problems in specific sorts of cases. When we see good outcomes replicated across a variety of situations, or great outcomes replicated within very specific situations, we label that regimen “promising”, which is where I think certain flipped practices are today. But the details in a thing like this are the whole point as far as research is concerned. So a story that removes the context, student profile, and methodology might as well not be written (or cited) at all.