Using Flipped Classroom to Place Sport Students Learning at Centre Stage: Insights and Food for Thought

Rick James Hayman


‘Flipped learning’ introduces learners to new material outside formal timetabled settings, requiring completion of pre-assigned activities before attendance at class-based sessions (Reddan, McNally and Chipperfield, 2016). This pedagogic approach supports students to learn independent of academic staff and take greater ownership of their studies (Roach, 2014). The past decade has witnessed rapid growth of flipped learning across diverse contexts and disciplines, with an emerging evidence base supporting the approach’s positive appeal in promoting student participation, attendance, engagement, achievement and deeper levels of learning (Seery, 2015). However, sports-specific research remains under-represented within the literature. In partnership with an academic staff member, this project placed students as collaborative partners, co-creators and co-constructors to explore expectations, experiences and reflections of flipped learning. On three separate occasions, eight final-year undergraduate sports students completed personalised audio blogs over the duration of a twelve-week talent identification and high-performance coaching module. Data revealed that timetabled sessions were transformed, from places where students were historically disengaged, attended intermittently and underachieved to situations characterised by dynamic engagement – with consequent improvements in attendance, interaction and achievement. This paper shares the implications for future curriculum reform, design and delivery, together with the re-tooling and professional development needs of academic and support staff.


Co-creators, Engagement, Flipped learning, Innovation, Partnerships

Full Text:



Andrews, J. and Higson, H. (2008) ‘Graduate employability: soft skills versus hard business knowledge: a European study.’ Higher Education in Europe, 33, 411-422.

Bates, S. and Galloway, R. (2012) The inverted classroom in a large enrolment introductory physics course: a case study. York: The Higher Education Academy.

Bishop, J. and Verleger, M. (2013) ‘The flipped classroom: a survey of the research.’ Atlanta, Georgia, United States: 120th American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, June 23-26.

Bridgstock, R. (2009) ‘The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: enhancing graduate employability through career management skills.’ Journal of Higher Education Research and Development, 28, 31-44.

Butt, A. (2014) ‘Student views on the use of a flipped classroom approach: evidence from Australia.’ Business Education and Accreditation, 6, 33-43.

Critz, C. and Knight, D. (2013) ‘Using the flipped classroom in graduate nursing education.’ Nurse Education, 38, 210-213.

Crozier, S. and Cassell, C. (2015) ‘Methodological considerations in the use of audio diaries in work psychology: adding to the qualitative toolkit.’ Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 1, 25.

Delpish, A., Darby, A., Holmes, A., Knight-McKenna, M., Mihans, R., King, C. and Felten, P. (2010) ‘Equalizing voices: Student faculty partnership in course design.’ In: Werder, C. and Otis, M. (eds.) Engaging student voices in the study of teaching and learning. Virginia: Stylus, 96-114.

Findlay-Thompson, S. and Mombourquette, P. (2014) ‘Evaluation of a flipped classroom in an undergraduate business course.’ Business Education and Accreditation, 6, 63-71.

Gilboy, M., Heinerichs, S. and Pazzaglia, G. (2015) ‘Enhancing student engagement using the flipped classroom.’ Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47, 109-114.

Gunyo, J. (2015) ‘I flipped my classroom: one teacher’s quest to remain relevant.’ Journal of Public Affairs Education, 21, 13-24.

Lincoln, Y. and Gubba, E., (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry. London: Sage.

McLaughlin, J., Roth, M., Glatt D., Gharkholonarehe, N., Davidson, C., Griffin, L., Esserman, D. and Mumper, R. (2014) ‘The flipped classroom: a course redesign to foster learning and engagement in a health professions school.’ Academic Medicine, 89, 236-243.

McLean, S., Attardi, S., Faden, L. and Goldszmidt, M. (2016) ‘Flipped classrooms and student learning: not just surface gains.’ Advances in Physiology Education, 40, 47-55.

Murphey, R., Nixon, S., Brooman, S. and Fearon, D. (2017) ‘I am wary of giving too much power to students. Addressing the but in the principle of staff-student partnership.’ International Journal for Students as Partners, 1, 1-16.

O`Flaherety, J. and Philips, C. (2015) ‘The use of flipped classrooms in higher education: a scoping review.’ The Internet and Higher Education, 25, 85-95.

Reddan, G., McNaily, B. and Chipperfield, J. (2016) ‘Flipping the classroom in an undergraduate sports coaching course.’ International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 11, 270-278.

Roach, T. (2014) ‘Student perceptions towards flipped learning: new methods to increase interaction and active learning.’ International Review of Economics Education, 17, 74-84.

Roehl, A., Reddy, S. and Shannon, G. (2013) ‘The flipped classroom: an opportunity to engage millennial students through active learning strategies.’ Journal of Family Consumer Science, 105, 44-49.

Ryan, B. (2013) ‘Flipping over: student-centred learning and assessment.’ Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 1, 30-39.

Seery, M. (2015) ‘Flipped learning in higher education chemistry: emerging trends and potential directions.’ Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 16, 758-768.

Worth, N. (2009) ‘Making use of audio diaries in research with young people: examining narrative, participation and audience.’ Sociological Research Online, 14, 1-11.



  • There are currently no refbacks.