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10 Published Results Supporting the Benefits of Flipped Learning

The Evidence Indicating That Flipped Instruction Works Continues to Grow

Have you ever come across statements online, or overheard people in dialogue, claiming that there is just no evidence supporting the effectiveness of incorporating technology in the educational process? Doesn’t that just drive you nuts? This is simply an uninformed and wrong-headed claim.

Google “evidence supporting effectiveness of technology in education” and check out the results. No evidence? Think again.

Evidence-Flipped-Classroom-Works

Of course, here on this site, were focused on one specific technique that relies on technology make teaching and learning more effective – the flipped classroom or flipped instruction model. Flipped teaching and learning is making further inroads in schools across the world every day as teachers across the world discover and adopt it.

Here are 10 published findings and studies that offer qualitative and quantitative results that support the effectiveness of this technique:

Spartan College sees results with curriculum overhaul“, Oct. 7, 2014, TulsaWorld.com

This article discusses the use of flipped teaching and learning techniques at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The article includes the following specifics re: measured success with the use of flipped instruction (the “new program”):

“The combined first-time pass rate under the old, traditional learning style program was 83.9 percent, college data show. The combined first-time pass rate for the new program is 96 percent, a more than 12 percentage point increase.

Overall costs of the program have been reduced for the student because every time a student failed an FAA test they would have to go back and retrain, Goertzen said.”

A novel integration of online and flipped classroom instructional models in public health higher education“, Aug. 29, 2014, 7th Space Interactive

A few excerpts from this article:

“Using mixed-methods, we examined learning experiences and perceptions of the flipped classroom model and assessed changes in students’ self-perceived knowledge after participation in the course. We used pre- and post-course surveys to measure changes in self-perceived knowledge.”

“On a scale of 1-5 (1 = lowest rank, 5 = highest rank), the mean overall rating for the 2013 NextGenU/Flipped classroom students were 88.8% compared to 86.4% for traditional students (2011). On a scale course was 4.7/5 compared to prior years’overall ratings of 3.7 (2012), 4.3 (2011), 4.1 (2010), and 3.9 (2009).”

Flipped Classroom May Help Weaker STEM Students“, Aug. 5, US News & World Report

“At Villanova, Weinstein helped lead a pilot program for flipping engineering courses. New data from the program given to U.S. News shows the bottom third of students’ grades were more than 10 percent higher than in a traditional classroom (the difference between a D+ and a C) and more than 3 percent higher for the class as a whole (moving from a C+ to a B-).”

The Flipped-Classroom Approach: The Answer to Future Learning?, Jan. 2014, The European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning.

Here is an abbreviated excerpt from the report’s abstract:

“The study examines students’ assessments of the use of the flipped classroom approach in an undergraduate course in the Business Department at the College for Academic Studies in Israel … students reported that watching videos between lessons enhanced interest, alleviated boredom, and enriched the learning. To a lesser extent, they reported it increased their involvement in learning, understanding of the learning material, and confidence in their ability to understand it.”

Flipped Learning Pilot Radically Reduces DFW Grade Rates in Two Courses“, August 24, 2014, EmergingEdTech.com

This is the first part of a pilot we ran at The College of Westchester in 2014. I’ll soon be publishing results from the full pilot (which included 4 additional classes), which showed similar encouraging results.

“The most startling and beneficial result of the Partial Flipped Class pilot was the drastic reduction of DFW rates (Ed Note: DFW = D’s, F’s, and Withdrawals).

As the graphic below indicates, DFW grades were eliminated in the pilot of GEN300, and radically reduced in NET125. Similar results occurred in comparing prior offerings of the course taught specifically by the same instructor who taught the pilot course.”

CW-FlippedClassPilot-QuantitativeResults-AvgGrades

Washington college instructors are ‘flipping’ the way they teach“, December 2012, SeattleTimes.com

Excerpts from this article:

“For years, Scott Freeman taught Biology 180 — a gateway class — by standing in front of his students at the University of Washington and lecturing about biological systems, evolution and the chromosome theory of inheritance, 17 percent routinely flunked his class — a failure rate he considered “gruesome.”

Freeman is now part of a new wave of Washington college instructors who are rethinking the college lecture hall … Some are seizing on a relatively recent idea: “flipping” the class, by turning a lecture or other basic materials into homework, and spending more class time in practice and problem-solving.

Freeman says fewer than 4 percent of his students flunk the class today. About 24 percent earn an A, compared with 14 percent before he switched his methods. And he believes the material he’s presenting is now harder, not easier.”

Measured Results Demonstrate Enhanced Learning Outcomes in the Flipped Classroom“, May 2013, EmergingEdTech.com

In this article, teacher and administrator James Szoka writes about his experience as an administrator at a rural secondary school district in America. He observed teachers who implemented a flipped classroom with materials they designed and created.  Over 250 video podcasts were made district-wide to provide content instruction.

“We performed research at that rural school to compare the effectiveness of the two delivery models of Algebra II/Trigonometry.  There was a large enough sample of students to compare in a lecture delivery model and the flipped classroom model.   Data was collected during the first term of the 2010-2011 school year (the test group for the flipped learning model consisted of 20 individuals and the test group for the traditional delivery method included 31 students).  At the end of second semester the students in the podcasting delivery method had a GPA in their math class of 3.2/4, a B average.  The students in the traditional delivery method had a GPA of 2.52/4, a  C+ average.  The percentage of students in the video podcasting class receiving a grade of A for the second semester was 50% whereas the percentage of students in the traditional class receiving a grade of A for the second semester was 39%.”

An Alternative Vote (Applying Science to the Teaching of Science)“, May, 2011, The Economist

A professor at the University of British Columbia, Louis Deslauriers,  studied 850 undergraduate science students taking a required physics course. At the beginning of the term, students were placed in two groups.  Both groups for the first 11 weeks of the course received instruction in the typical lecture delivery format by competent and well regarded instructors. At the 12 week mark, students in group 1 received instruction in a flipped classroom manner.  Class time was spent on problem solving and discussion and content acquisition was left to be done by the student outside of the classroom with reading assignments. Students in group 2 continued in the typical lecture delivery format for the 12th week.

At the end of the 12th week, all students were given a test to determine their acquisition of content for the 12 week period. The test was scored on the correct out of 12 and the results are pictured above.  Group 2 using the lecture delivery method had an average score of 41% and Group 1 had an average score of 74%.

Flipped class results graphic

THE EFFECT OF THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND STRESS”, July 2012, scholarworks.montana.edu

This is a slightly different twist on the measurement of benefits of flipped teaching and learning. This thesis documents research conducted by a student in pursuit of a M.S. in Science Education at Montana State. The document abstract explains,

“In this investigation, the effect of the flipped classroom and associated differentiation was studied to measure the impact on student achievement and student stress levels. For the second semester of their senior year, students watched video lectures outside of class and completed assignments during class time.”

Jumping to the published conclusions,

“Students reported lower stress levels in this type of classroom environment compared to other classes. Results of the study indicated that use of differentiation and independent study, through the implementation of the flipped classroom model, was successful. The grades from semester one and semester two were significantly different, with the majority of students seeing an average increase of three points in semester grades.”

The Flipped Classroom: A Survey of the Research“, 2013, American Society for Engineering Education

Edited excerpt from the abstract:

“This paper provides a comprehensive survey of prior and ongoing research of the flipped classroom. Studies are characterized on several dimensions. Among others, these include the type of in-class and out-of-class activities, the measures used to evaluate the study, and methodological characteristics for each study. Results of this survey show that most studies conducted to date explore student perceptions and use single-group study designs. Reports of student perceptions of the flipped classroom are somewhat mixed, but are generally positive overall. Students tend to prefer in-person lectures to video lectures, but prefer interactive classroom activities over lectures. Anecdotal evidence suggests that student learning is improved for the flipped compared to traditional classroom. However, there is very little work investigating student learning outcomes objectively.”

This last study makes a key point, which is that there are few formally structured, rigorous studies focused on outcomes. It is also important to note that not all published findings and studies focused on the flipped classroom have reported positive results. For example, this recent report on EDUCAUSE did not find any statistically significant improvements in flipped classrooms in a couple courses studies over 2 years.

Conclusions

There are many factors that play into the effectiveness of flipped instruction, and only time will tell if continued professional development and experience with the technique yield predictable, repeatable increased performance.

There has been consistent growth of the use of this technique over the 7+ years since Sams and Bergmann began their efforts (which IMHO have been a primary catalyst in this grassroots movement). As more and more teachers gain experience and share and apply best practices, I have little doubt that there can be continued evidence coming forth supporting the effectiveness of flipped teaching and learning when carefully structured and leveraged.

It remains to be seen if administrators, parents, school boards, and other stakeholders governing education ultimately help or hinder the potential that is clearly displayed in these encouraging findings.

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13 comments… add one
  • Most of these studies involve college students, not secondary schools. That’s unfortunate for folks like me (8th grade teacher). Can we cast the net wider to find more results on middle/high school students?
    We would especially like to see the impact of flipped instruction on subgroups: race, class, disability, ELL, etc. I *believe* that the model can benefit students with disadvantages (as long as they have tech access), but I do not have data to prove that….

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