Effects of the flipped classroom instructional strategy on students’ learning outcomes: a meta-analysis
The flipped classroom instructional strategy is thought to be a good way to structure learning experiences to improve student learning outcomes. Many studies have been conducted to examine the effects of flipped classroom on student learning outcomes compared to the traditional classroom, but the results were inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to examine the overall effect of the flipped classroom instructional strategy on student learning outcomes in relation to a set of moderating variables including student levels, publication types, study durations, and subject area. This meta-analysis examined studies that compared classrooms that used the flipped classroom instructional strategy and classrooms that did not. Seventeen databases were searched to identify literature meeting our inclusion criteria and resulted in 55 publications with 115 effect size comparisons on cognitive student learning outcomes published between 2000 and 2016. Overall, we found a statistically significant effect size (g = 0.193; p < .001; with a 95% confidence interval of 0.113–0.274) in favor of the flipped classroom instructional strategy. The effect size data were normally distributed and exhibited statistically significant heterogeneity. The effect sizes were significantly moderated by subject area such as mathematics, science, social sciences, engineering, arts and humanities, health, and business. No evidence of publication bias was detected in these data. A full discussion of the findings and implications for educational practice and research were provided.
KeywordsFlipped classroom Blended learning Active learning Meta-analysis Cognitive learning outcomes
This study was not funded by any grants or contracts.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
References marked with an asterisk indicate studies that are included in the meta-analysis
- Baker, J. W. (2000a). The “classroom flip”: Using web course management tools to become the guide by the side. Paper presented at the 11th international conference on College Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, FL.Google Scholar
- Baker, J. W. (2000b). The classroom flip: Becoming the guide by the side. Paper presented at CCCU technology conference, Azusa, CA. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://works.bepress.com/j_wesley_baker/15.
- Baker, J. W. (2003). The “classroom flip”: A model for pedagogically effective use of a course management system. Paper presented at Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education Teaching and Technology Workshop. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/media_and_applied_communications_presentations/16.
- Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012a). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. Washington, DC: Internal Society for Technology in Education.Google Scholar
- *Bishop, J. L. (2013). A controlled study of the flipped classroom with numerical methods for engineers. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1492991096).Google Scholar
- Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In ASEE national conference proceedings, Atlanta, GA (Vol. 30, No. 9, pp. 1–18). Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/20/papers/6219/view.
- Bland, L. (2006). Applying flip/inverted classroom model in electrical engineering to establish life-long learning. Paper presented at 2006 ASEE annual conference & exposition: Excellence in education, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. (ASHE-ERIC higher education report no. 1). Washington, DC: George Washington University.Google Scholar
- *Brooks, A. W. (2014). Information literacy and the flipped classroom. Communications in Information Literacy, 8(2), 225–235.Google Scholar
- Brunsell, E., & Horejsi, M. (2013). Flipping your classroom in one “take”. The Science Teacher, 80(3), 8.Google Scholar
- Buechler, D. N., Sealy, P. J., & Goomey, J. (2014). Three pilot studies with a focus on asynchronous distance education. Paper presented at Proceedings of 121st ASEE annual conference & exposition, Indianapolis, IN.Google Scholar
- Cavalli, M., Neubert, J. J., Mcnally, D., & Jacklitch-Kuikan, D. (2014). Comparison of student performance and perceptions across multiple course delivery modes. Paper presented at proceedings of 121st ASEE annual conference, Indianapolis, IN.Google Scholar
- *Chao, C., Chen, Y., & Chuang, K. (2015). Exploring students’ learning attitude and achievement in flipped learning supported computer aided design curriculum: A study in high school engineering education. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 23(4), 514–526. https://doi.org/10.1002/cae.21622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- *Clark, K. R. (2013). Examining the effects of the flipped model of instruction on student engagement and performance in the secondary mathematics classroom: An action research study. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1437012328).Google Scholar
- *Couch, A. C. (2014). Comparison of teaching approaches and strategies: How do the use of traditional teaching and flipped classroom teaching techniques affect the attitudes and attainment of science students in an international school in Hong Kong? Master’s thesis, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5396412.
- *Davies, R. S., Dean, D. L., & Ball, N. (2013). Flipping the classroom and instructional technology integration in a college-level information systems spreadsheet course. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(4), 563–580. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-013-9305-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning & Leading with Technology, 39(8), 12–17.Google Scholar
- Gannod, G. C., Burge, J. E., & Helmick, M. T. (2008). Using the inverted classroom to teach software engineering. In Proceedings of the 30th international conference on software engineering (pp. 777–786). Leipzig: ACM.Google Scholar
- Gillette, C., Rudolph, M., Kimble, C., Rockich-Winston, N., Smith, L., & Broedel-Zaugg, K. (2018). A systematic review and meta analysis of student pharmacist outcomes comparing flipped classroom and lecture. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 82(5), 433–440.Google Scholar
- Glass, G. V., MacGaw, B., & Smith, M. L. (1981). Meta-analysis in social research. Beverly Hills, CA.: Sage.Google Scholar
- *Glynn, J. (2013). The effects of a flipped classroom on achievement and student attitudes in secondary chemistry. Master’s thesis, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1/2882/GlynnJ0813.pdf?sequence=1.
- Graham, C. R. (2013). Emerging practice and research in blended learning. In M. G. Moore (Ed.), Handbook of distance education (3rd ed., pp. 333–350). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- *Hantla, B. F. (2014). The effects of flipping the classroom on specific aspects of critical thinking in a Christian college: A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1547356249).Google Scholar
- Holdhusen, M. H. (2015). A “flipped” statics classroom. Paper presented at 2015 ASEE annual conference & exposition, Seattle, WA. https://doi.org/10.18260/p.23356.
- *Hotle, S. L., & Garrow, L. A. (2016). Effects of the traditional and flipped classrooms on undergraduate student opinions and success. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 142(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)ei.1943-5541.0000259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- *Jensen, J. L., Kummer, T. A., & Godoy, P. D. (2015). Improvements from a flipped classroom may simply be the fruits of active learning. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 14(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1187/10.1187/cbe.14-08-0129.
- *Kang, N. H. (2015). The comparison between regular and flipped classrooms for EFL Korean adult learners. Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning, 18(3), 41–72. https://doi.org/10.15702/mall.2015.18.3.41.
- Kellogg, S. (2009). Developing online materials to facilitate an inverted classroom approach. Paper presented at the 39th IEEE frontiers in education conference, session T3F, San Antonio, TX. https://doi.org/10.1109/fie.2009.5350621.
- Kiat, P. N., & Kwot, Y. T. (2014). The flipped classroom experience. In Proceedings of IEEE CSEE&T (pp. 39–43). Klagenfurt, Austria: IEEE Xplore Digital Library.Google Scholar
- Lavelle, J. P., Stimpson, M. T., & Brill, E. D. (2013). Flipped out engineering economy: Converting a traditional class to an inverted model. In A. Krishnamurthy & W. K. V. Chan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2013 industrial systems engineering research conference (pp. 397–407). Puerto Rico: High Beam Research.Google Scholar
- *Li, S., & Dan, F. (2015). Influences from university students on the flipped classroom. Paper presented at the Computer Science & Education (ICCSE), 2015 10th International Conference, Cambridge, UK. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7250373/, https://doi.org/10.1109/iccse.2015.7250373.
- *Lim, J. (2015). The effects of flipped learning on middle level of college students’ essay performance. STEM Journal, 16(4), 197–214.Google Scholar
- Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- *Lloyd, J., & Ebener, B. (2014). Flipping a non-majors’ biology class: Using video lectures, online resources, and a student response system to facilitate deeper learning. Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science, 50(1), 93.Google Scholar
- López-López, J. A., Page, M. J., Lipsey, M. W., & Higgins, J. P. (2018). Dealing with effect size multiplicity in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Research synthesis methods, 9, 336–351.Google Scholar
- *Maciejewski, W. (2016). Flipping the calculus classroom: An evaluative study. Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications, 35(4), 187–201. https://doi.org/10.1093/teamat/hrv019.
- Mahoney, E. (2013). The impact of the classroom flip on student motivation. Master’s thesis, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://honors.libraries.psu.edu/catalog/19794.
- Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., & Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115(3), 1–47.Google Scholar
- *Metcalf, D. (2015). The impact of flipping a middle school classroom on student achievement. Master’s thesis, California State University, California. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://scholarworks.csustan.edu/handle/011235813/947.
- *Moffett, J., & Mill, A. C. (2014). Evaluation of the flipped classroom approach in a veterinary professional skills course. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 5, 415–425. https://doi.org/10.2147/amep.s70160.
- Mok, H. N. (2014). Teaching tip: The flipped classroom. Journal of Information Systems Education, 25(1), 7–11.Google Scholar
- *Montgomery, J. (2015). The effects of flipped learning on middle school students’ achievement with common core mathematics. Master’s thesis, California State University San Marcos, California. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://csusm-dspace.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.3/143668/MontgomeryJared_Summer2015.pdf;sequence=1.
- Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kemp, J. E., & Kalman, H. (2010). Designing effective instruction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- *Murray, L., McCallum, C., & Petrosino, C. (2014). Flipping the classroom experience: A comparison of online learning to traditional lecture. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 28(3), 35–41.Google Scholar
- Orwin, R. G. (1983). A fail-safe N for effect size in meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Statistics, 8(2), 157–159.Google Scholar
- *Overmyer, G. R. (2014). The flipped classroom model for college algebra: Effects on student achievement. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1615100148).Google Scholar
- Pearson Partners on Flipped Learning. (2013). Electronic education report, 20(14), 5. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://www.electroniceducationreport.com/content/pearson-partners-flipped-learning.
- Phipps, R., & Merisotis, J. (1999). What’s the difference? A review of contemporary research on the effectiveness of distance learning in higher education. Washington, DC: Institute for Higher Education Policy.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J. (1950). The psychology of intelligence. New York: Harcourt, Brace.Google Scholar
- *Prepose, L. S. (2015). Online, flipped, and traditional instruction: A comparison of student performance in higher education. Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, California. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll3/id/570066.
- *Quint, C. L. (2015). A study of the efficacy of the flipped classroom model in a university mathematics class. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1695832181).Google Scholar
- *Ripley, D. G. (2015). An examination of flipped instructional method on sixth graders’ mathematics learning: Utilizing propensity score matching. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1696781689).Google Scholar
- Ruddick, K. W. (2012). Improving chemical education from high school to college using a more hands-on approach. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1082023572).Google Scholar
- *Sahin, A., Cavlazoglu, B., & Zeytuncu, Y. E. (2015). Flipping a college calculus course: A case study. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 18(3), 142–152.Google Scholar
- *Saunders, J. M. (2014). The flipped classroom: Its effect on student academic achievement and critical thinking skills in high school mathematics. Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1639087375).Google Scholar
- *Sengel, E. (2014). Using the ‘flipped classroom’ to enhance physics achievement of the prospective teacher impact of flipped classroom model on physics course. Journal of the Balkan Tribological Association, 20(3), 488–497.Google Scholar
- *Shyu, H. Y. (2014). Implementing the flipped classroom strategy into in-service education. In T. Bastiaens (Ed.), E-Learn: World conference on E-learning in corporate, government, healthcare, and higher education 2014 (pp. 1819–1823). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).Google Scholar
- *Smith, J. P. (2015). The efficacy of a flipped learning classroom, Doctoral dissertation. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1713692218).Google Scholar
- Staker, H., & Horn, M. (2012). Classifying K-12 blended learning. The Innosight Institute website. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535180.pdf.
- Stenberg, P. R. (2014). The flipped classroom in high school pre-calculus. Master thesis, Hamline University, Minnesota. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from http://digitalcommons.hamline.edu/hse_all/13/.
- Strayer, J. F. (2007). The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: A comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and a flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system. Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Ohio. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=osu1189523914&disposition=inline.
- Strayer, J. F. (2009). Inverting the classroom: A study of the learning environment when an intelligent tutoring system is used to help students learn. Riga: VDM-Verlag Muller.Google Scholar
- Velegol, S. B., Zappe, S. E., & Mahoney, E. (2015). The evolution of a flipped classroom: Evidence-based recommendations. Advances in Engineering Education, 4, 1–37.Google Scholar
- *Willis, J. A. (2014). The effects of flipping an undergraduate precalculus class. Doctoral dissertation, Appalachian State University, North Carolina. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Willis,%20Jason_2014_%20Thesis.pdf.
- *Winter, J. B. (2013). The effect of the flipped model on achievement in an introductory college physics course. Master’s thesis. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest document ID: 1469609819).Google Scholar
- *Yousefzadeh, M., & Salimi, A. (2015). The effect of flipped learning (revised learning) on Iranian students’ learning outcomes. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(5), 209–213.Google Scholar
- Zappe, S., Leicht, R., Messner, J., Litzinger, T., & Lee, H. W. (2009). “Flipping” the classroom to explore active learning in a large undergraduate course. In Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education annual conference and exhibition. Retrieved March 16, 2016, from https://peer.asee.org/4545.
- Zhai, X., Gu, J., Liu, H., Liang, J. C., & Tsai, C. C. (2017). An experiential learning perspective on students’ satisfaction model in a Flipped Classroom context. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 20(1), 198–210.Google Scholar