The Impact of the Classroom Flip on Student Motivation

Open Access
Mahoney, Emily
Area of Honors:
Civil Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephanie Butler Velegol, Thesis Supervisor
  • Eric Todd Donnell, Honors Advisor
  • Classroom Flip
  • Motivation
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Classroom Climate
  • Value
  • Engineering Education
  • Inverted Classroom
One of the hardest aspects of teaching a course is tailoring the teaching techniques to satisfy all students. Some students are bored and apathetic, while others have difficulty keeping up with the material and give up. In an effort to understand how to individualize a class to motivate students, a specific instructional technique known as the flipped classroom is considered. The flipped classroom is an instructional technique that has been gaining considerable attention lately. The traditional lecture component of technical information is provided through online modules, which frees up class time for active learning and innovative activities. This thesis considers the impact that implementing the classroom flip has on student motivation in an engineering class. To assess the impact that the classroom flip has on student motivation, three levers from the literature are considered: (1) the subjective value of a goal, (2) the expectations for successful attainment of that goal, and (3) the perceived supportiveness of the classroom environment. Evaluation of the impact of the classroom flip on the three levers of student motivation was conducted using both quantitative and qualitative measures. These included using self-efficacy questionnaires to identify changes in self-efficacy, student surveys and focus groups to assess student perception of value, and the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) to assess the classroom climate in both the flipped class and various control courses. Based on this evaluation, it is proven that implementing the classroom flip improves student motivation by increasing the subjective value of a goal, increasing students’ self-efficacy, and increasing the perceived supportiveness of the environment. A discussion of the impact of the classroom flip on student motivation is provided, including limitations of the study and future possibilities in this field.