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Title: Using transactional distances to explore student satisfaction with group collaboration in the flipped classroom

Authors: William Swart; Niva Wengrowicz; Karl L. Wuensch

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA ' Department of Education in Science and Technology, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel ' Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA

Abstract: In the 'flipped' classroom, students use online materials to learn what is traditionally learned by attending lectures, and class time is used for interactive group learning (IGL). IGL differentiates the flipped class from a traditional class and is touted as what makes the flipped class reflective of how higher education will change. In this paper, we use transactional distance (TD) and relative proximity theory (RPT) to hypothesise collaboration factors that could model student satisfaction in a flipped class. An instrument based on these factors was administered to a total of 84 students enrolled in two sections of a flipped operations management course over two semesters and EFA, SEM and CFA analyses determined it to be valid and reliable. Multiple regressions were used to determine which factors were statistically significant unique predictors of student satisfaction in the flipped classroom. The findings of the research imply that neither instructors nor students should be left to 'sink or swim' when first exposed to the flipped classroom. Instead, instructors should be incentivised to develop the skills required to be an effective learning, or cognitive, coach and students should be instructed in teaming skills as part of the flipped classroom experience.

Keywords: flipped learning; interactive group learning; collaborative learning; problem-based learning; PBL; instructional design; transactional distances; structural equation modelling; SEM; operations management education; student satisfaction; flipped classroom; collaboration; relative proximity theory; RPT; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2015.073155

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2015 Vol.6 No.1, pp.24 - 48

Received: 28 Feb 2015
Accepted: 10 Jun 2015

Published online: 25 Nov 2015 *

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