University students’ preference for flexible teaching models that foster constructivist learning practices

Ingrid Noguera*, Laia Albó, Marc Beardsley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, universities have intensified their use of technologies and implemented various modes of flexible teaching. This study sought to demonstrate that students prefer flipped learning with combined forms of synchronous and asynchronous learning that foster constructivist learning practices. To this aim, two case studies (N = 221) for online teaching at two face-to-face universities during the 2020–2021 academic year are presented. Results show that students appreciate flipped models of learning that foster social constructivist practices, autonomous access and consultation of resources, self-regulation of time management and consciousness of learning needs. Such virtual self-paced learning results in more productive and interactive real-time classes. This combination of autonomous learning and synchronous instruction is preferred by students attending online and hybrid modes of teaching. Overall, this study demonstrates that the flipped classroom adapts well to online and hybrid modes of teaching with first-year undergraduate students. To effectively foster social constructivism through the flipped classroom in university contexts, course design should consider both synchronous and asynchronous learning spaces, amplifying opportunities to learn autonomously and to collaborate and get feedback in synchronous contexts. Implications for practice or policy • Student satisfaction with teaching may increase in online education if characteristics for flexibility are incorporated. • Teachers can foster social constructivist practices through flipped classroom by designing synchronous and asynchronous instruction to be self-regulated, student-centred, collaborative and flexible. • Institutional rules may limit teacher abilities to apply flexible modes of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-39
Number of pages18
JournalAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Case study
  • Flexible learning
  • Flipped classroom
  • Hybrid learning
  • Online learning
  • Social constructivism
  • Student perspectives


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