The Experiences of Biology Instructors at a Community College with the Inverted Classroom: A Phenomenology Study




Villarreal, Felix

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This dissertation research reports on the experiences of a team of community college educators who develop, implement, and teach an introductory biology course on the inverted classroom platform. Research questions addressed include: (1) What have been the motivations and professional influences of the instructors for transitioning to the inverted classroom for the introductory biology course? (2) In what ways have the participants’ teaching practices changed (if any) as a result of the transition to the inverted classroom? (3)What were the benefits and challenges in teaching the inverted classroom? (4) How do educators perceive adult learning and teaching now that they have designed and implemented an inverted classroom? The study was qualitative by design and used interviews and a critical incident technique (CIT) focused group to obtain the narratives of the lived experiences of the participants who worked and taught the IBIC. Interpretive phenomenology was used to analyze the data to understand the aggregate voices of the participants. Study participants reported their previous understanding of and experience with inverted classrooms to be none to minimal. Their motivations to transition to the inverted classroom included the opportunities to work with colleagues on a team effort as a way to create the best product, and a desire to improve student learning. Participants made revelations about themselves and their own teaching, as well as how to better support adults in learning. As a result of their new experience teaching an inverted classroom, participants reported their teaching practices now reflected the importance of student engagement, student advocacy, and flexibility in the classroom. Participants identified the benefits of designing, developing, and implementing an inverted introductory biology classroom to include the colleague support and relationships that developed as a result of following a team approach, and the way the inverted classroom supported student learning by emphasizing student engagement, providing multiple ways for students to learn, and enabling student recognition of their responsibility, while creating confidence in their ability, for their own learning. Challenges reported were the amount of work and stress involved, technical difficulties, lack of support from administrators, and power dynamics of the team. Participants unanimously agreed the transition to the inverted classroom was worth the work, time, and stress that went into it, concluding that the inverted classroom was more successful than the traditionally taught introductory biology course for the community college students that it served, while providing their reasoning from their teaching experience. This paper also presents advice and recommendations for other educators interested in exploring or adding to their experience with the inverted classroom, and it represents an unique addition to the inverted classroom literature by documenting the experiences of a <i>team effort</i> of educators building and teaching an inverted classroom with no prior experience in doing so.



Inverted classroom, Phenomenology


Villarreal, F. (2022). <i>The experiences of biology instructors at a community college with the inverted classroom: A phenomenology study</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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