Curriculum and assessment design


This study examines how the flipped classroom approach to teaching and learning supports or inhibits the cognitive needs of relatedness, competence, and autonomy, leading to either increased or decreased levels of motivation. We use semi-structured interviews involving twenty-two students and five facilitators in an Australian university to qualitatively investigate perceptions of motivation through the lens of self-determination theory (SDT). Using thematic analysis, our findings reveal that the flipped classroom approach supports students’ cognitive need for relatedness by providing more opportunities for interaction in the classroom. Further, relatedness has been shown to facilitate internalisation and support competence as a result of students supporting each other. However, our findings demonstrate that despite overall satisfaction with the flipped learning environment, the students raised concerns about how the learning is executed. Among recommendations for pedagogical practices, academics and education providers are urged to create an environment that supports a sense of belongingness and self-endorsement of learning activities among students to promote more autonomous forms of motivation.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Relatedness has been shown to facilitate internalisation and support competence as a result of students being able to support each other through connections made in the classroom extending outside the class to support peer to peer learning.
  2. Guiding students to see the importance of an activity for their career or goals is likely to facilitate internalisation, whereas completing an activity merely to fulfill a course requirement will not result in self-determination.
  3. Educators should be aware that student motivation is influenced by the length of videos, provision of reading or notes to supplement videos and consequences of not completing the pre-class activities.
  4. Facilitators’ decision to repeat pre-class materials in the class creates a behavioural response from students and this should be avoided to send a consistent message.
  5. Learning resources or assessments should be personalised as social context or familiarity with the learning resources is shown to enhance student motivation.