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Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic, classes have been pushed online by universities across countries, including Thailand. Thai universities started remote instruction in March 2020 (Covid-19 fear pushes classes online, 2020). This sudden change brought challenges in providing high-quality remote learning for students.
In the first week of its application, several issues arose, including lack of students’ engagement and participation. Because engagement has been proven to affect achievement (Archambault, Pagani, & Fitzpatrick, 2013; Wang & Holcombe, 2010), concerns about making the instruction less teacher-centered were raised. It was also observed that students’ learning pace was compromised as students struggled to understand the instruction. A flipped classroom becomes a solution in these matters as it provides some advantages that learning can benefit from such as more preparation, practice, and interaction time.
In this model, students are given and asked to study several prepared materials, including lecture videos before class, to have more opportunities to practice in various ways in the classroom (González-Gómez, Jeong, & Rodríguez, 2016; Tucker, 2012). This gives more flexibility to students in arranging their study time (O’Flaherty and Phillips, 2015), and enables more effective interaction during lessons (Fang, 2020). Most importantly, recent studies reported that the flipped classroom can improve students’ achievement and engagement as it enables effective knowledge and skills development and positive attitudes (ALRowais, 2014; Chao, Chen, & Chuang, 2015).
Even though this concept has been adopted in many face-to-face classes, there is a scarcity of research that uses all online classroom instructions. When classrooms at Walailak University were pushed online, this concept, carefully combining online synchronous and asynchronous phases, was fully adapted to a General English (GE) class. Prior to the pandemic, a flipped classroom model was utilized by the teacher to teach the GE class. The model had shown positive results during the regular classroom instructions as more time in the class was allocated for students’ interaction. This led to the adaptation of the model for use in online instruction.
This research brief discusses the implementation of the innovation in online instruction of the GE subject Reading and Writing at Walailak University. Moreover, it reports the effects of the model on students’ achievement and perception.
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