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Motivation and Cognitive Load in the Flipped Classroom: Definition, Rationale and a Call for Research


Higher Education Research and Development Volume 34, Number 1, ISSN 0729-4360


Flipped classroom approaches remove the traditional transmissive lecture and replace it with active in-class tasks and pre-/post-class work. Despite the popularity of these approaches in the media, Google search, and casual hallway chats, there is very little evidence of effectiveness or consistency in understanding what a flipped classroom actually is. Although the flipped terminology is new, some of the approaches being labelled "flipped" are actually much older. In this paper, we provide a catch-all definition for the flipped classroom, and attempt to retrofit it with a pedagogical rationale, which we articulate through six testable propositions. These propositions provide a potential agenda for research about flipped approaches and form the structure of our investigation. We construct a theoretical argument that flipped approaches might improve student motivation and help manage cognitive load. We conclude with a call for more specific types of research into the effectiveness of the flipped classroom approach.


Abeysekera, L. & Dawson, P. (2015). Motivation and Cognitive Load in the Flipped Classroom: Definition, Rationale and a Call for Research. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(1), 1-14. Retrieved April 13, 2021 from .

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