Chieh-Fang Hu & Fu-Fui Hsu



Given that most humanities courses in higher education are already interactive and constructive, it is not clear whether a flipped model of learning adds any additional value to student learning. This study assessed the impacts of flipped learning on EFL learners’ performance and perceptions of a two-semester linguistics course in a Taiwan university. For the flipped units, EFL students learning linguistics in the partially flipped classroom viewed instructor-made videos prior to the scheduled class and then participated in class activities, which required analysis and evaluation of the concepts acquired from the videos to solve real-world problems. For other units, students experienced learning via live lectures. Student responses from a questionnaire indicated that the flipped model promoted higher-order thinking and made differentiated and self-paced learning possible. Video lectures were favored over textbook chapters, but not over live lectures. The results of correlational analyses between questionnaire items and exam performance indicated that success in flipped learning depends on students’ appreciation of the cohesive alignment of prerecorded lectures and in-class activities to support learning and investing time in video lectures. There was no evidence that devoting 28% less class time to transmitting knowledge over the two semesters impaired exam performance in the flipped students when compared to the students taking the same course but with live lectures in the previous year. This article calls for a careful reexamination of how to balance the use of flipped learning and live lectures in humanities disciplines in higher education.


Key Words: flipped learning, humanities courses, student perceptions