A scoping review of flipped learning research conducted in K-12 and university physical education settings

Killian, Chad; Osterlie, Ove; Ferriz-Valero, Alberto; Garcia-Jaen, Miguel and Sargent, Julia (2023). A scoping review of flipped learning research conducted in K-12 and university physical education settings. In: Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 94(Sup 1) A-84.


Background/Purpose: The use of digital technology in education continues to grow rapidly. Flipped learning (FL) is a popular format used across subjects that leverages digital technology to deliver instruction to students prior to face-to-face classes. In physical education (PE), FL uses asynchronous digital instruction to expand learning and physical activity opportunities beyond the school day to prime students for upcoming face-to-face classes where they engage in guided movement experiences designed to extend prior learning (Osterlie et al., in press). The format of FL and use of digital instruction represents a departure from traditional pedagogical approaches in PE, however the potential of FL to support positive PE outcomes has been documented (Killian et al., 2016; Killian et al., 2019). Recent efforts to identify evidence from FL research independently from broader online PE.literature was limited to non-university students (Gosalbez-Carpena et al., 2022). Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to extend this review by presenting results from studies on FL in K-12 and higher education PE settings. This study also synthesized common factors of FL implementation as an initial, evidence-based constitution of FL in PE.

Method: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines were used to guide the review process. Peer-reviewed studies were included when they related to the use of FL within K-12 and higher education physical education contexts. Full-text studies and articles were evaluated against a priori inclusion criteria and unrelated articles were excluded from this review.

Analysis/Results: A total of 82 peer-reviewed studies were considered for inclusion. Only 16 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and qualified for this review. Most studies were conducted in K-12 settings, in Europe, using quantitative methods. Lesson content of FL studies was broad and mainly on fitness related information and non-traditional activities like orienteering, parkour, and korfball. Sample sizes varied widely across studies, with a majority of studies focusing on student motivation and learning outcomes. Overall, the use of FL had an inconsistent but generally positive impact on these variables. Student autonomy and time spent in motor learning were also generally positively impacted across several studies. School approved learning management systems were most commonly used to deliver FL instruction in included studies. Length of FL implementation ranged mostly between three and six lessons and was mainly applied promote learning for the key aspects of lesson material.

Conclusions: The results of this review suggest that research on FL in PE is still in its early stages, but is gaining attention from researchers globally. Use of the FL approach in PE appears to benefit students when compared to the use of traditional pedagogies. This review showed FL has potential to improve student motivation and support student learning. Currently, there is limited inquiry related to important PE outcomes like physical activity, motor learning and socioemotional learning. Further research is necessary to develop a stronger evidence-base for practice. Expanded methodologies should be applied to better understand phenomena related to FL implementation across all grade-levels and varied contents.

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