Technology, Knowledge and Learning

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 231–248 | Cite as

Flipped Classroom Versus Traditional Textbook Instruction: Assessing Accuracy and Mental Effort at Different Levels of Mathematical Complexity

Original research


Flipped classrooms are an instructional technology trend mostly incorporated in higher education settings, with growing prominence in high school and middle school (Tucker in Leveraging the power of technology to create student-centered classrooms. Corwin, Thousand Oaks, 2012). Flipped classrooms are meant to effectively combine traditional and online education by utilizing both in and out-of-class time. Despite positively reported implications of the flipped classroom instructional strategy, there is a deep shortage of literature and data that demonstrate advantages for student learning outcomes. The purpose of this preliminary study with directions for future investigations was to examine flipped classroom instruction versus a traditional classroom; specifically, an instructional video versus traditional textbook instruction to assess accuracy and mental effort at three levels of mathematical complexity. College-level nursing students who require mathematical mastery were used as a pilot test group in anticipation that this experience could be translated for larger data sets of variable age groups. Results indicated that accuracy increased and mental effort decreased with flipped instruction. Using Sweller’s cognitive load theory and Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning as theoretical frameworks, this study lends insight into designing effective instruction for learning environments that could benefit from a flipped classroom framework.


Flipped classroom Mathematics Accuracy Mental effort Nursing students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.San FranciscoUSA

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