Skip to main content


Log in

Effect of the flipped classroom on the mathematics performance of middle school students

  • Development Article
  • Published:
Educational Technology Research and Development Aims and scope Submit manuscript


With advances in learning technologies, new pedagogical models are being developed to improve students’ learning performance. One notable model is the flipped classroom, which has attracted the attention of many researchers, particularly in K-12 education. However, research on effective approaches for managing the flipped classroom model to improve mathematics learning is lacking. This study explored approaches to manage the flipped classroom in a Chinese context and designed an approach to improve the mathematical learning performance of middle school students. In a flipped classroom teaching and learning, students took notes while watching videos at home and then teacher utilized the notes for in-class discussion. A total of 88 sixth-grade students in a secondary school in mainland China participated in this study. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach by situating the experimental and control groups in flipped and traditional classrooms, respectively. The results show that the proposed flipped classroom approach significantly improves the students’ mathematical learning performance. The proposed approach is more beneficial to students at the middle mathematics level comparing to those at high or low levels. Furthermore, some suggestions are provided for teachers to manage flipped classroom more effectively.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. Washington, DC: Internal Society for Technology in Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. In 120th ASEE National Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA (Paper ID 6219). Washington, DC: American Society for Engineering Education.

  • Cai, J. D., He, Y. T., & Yu, J. M. (2014). Research on construction and application of flipped classroom instructional model on information technology course in middle school. Modern Education Technology,24(12), 92–99. (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  • Capone, R., Sorbo, M. R. D., & Fiore, O. (2017). A flipped experience in physics education using CLIL methodology. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education,13(10), 6579–6582.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, Y. L., Wang, Y., Kinshuk, K., & Chen, N.-S. (2014). Is FLIP enough? Or should we use the FLIPPED model instead? Computers & Education,79, 16–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cheng, L., Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Antonenko, P. (2019). Effects of the flipped classroom instructional strategy on students’ learning outcomes: A meta-analysis. Educational Technology Research and Development,67(4), 793–824.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cortina, J. M. (1993). What is coefficient alpha? An examination of theory and applications. Journal of Applied Psychology,78(1), 98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Flumerfelt, S., & Green, G. (2013). Using lean in the flipped classroom for at risk students. Educational Technology & Society,16(1), 356–366.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out: Flip your classroom to improve student learning. Learning & Learning with Technology,39(8), 12–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Duncan, R. G., & Chinn, C. A. (2007). Scafolding and achievement in problem-based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist,42, 99–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G., & Agamba, J. (2014). Promoting effective E-Learning practices through the constructivist pedagogy. Education and Information Technologies,19(4), 887–898.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, M. K., Kim, S. M., Khera, O., & Getman, J. (2014). The experience of three flipped classrooms in an urban university: An exploration of design principles. The Internet and Higher Education,22, 37–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kissi, P. S., Nat, M., & Armah, R. B. (2018). The effects of learning–family conflict, perceived control over time and task-fit technology factors on urban–rural high school students’ acceptance of video-based instruction in flipped learning approach. Educational Technology Research and Development,66, 1547–1569.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lai, C. L., & Hwang, G. J. (2016). A self-regulated flipped classroom approach to improving students’ learning performance in a mathematics course. Computers & Education,100, 126–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, A. (2015). Determining the effects of computer science education at the secondary level on STEM major choices in postsecondary institutions in the United States. Computers & Education,88, 241–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, M. K. (2018). Flipped classroom as an alternative future class model? Implications of South Korea’s social experiment. Educational Technology Research and Development,66(3), 837–857.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, J., Lim, C., & Kim, H. (2017). Development of an instructional design model for flipped learning in higher education. Educational Technology Research and Development,65(2), 427–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lo, C. K. (2018). Grounding the flipped classroom approach in the foundations of educational technology. Educational Technology Research and Development.,66(3), 793–811.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lo, C. K., & Hew, K. F. (2017). Using "first principles of instruction" to design secondary school mathematics flipped classroom: The findings of two exploratory studies. Educational Technology & Society,20(1), 222–236.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maloy, R. W., & Laroche, I. S. (2015). We, the students and teachers. New York: Suny.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pi, Z., Hong, J., & Yang, J. (2017). Does instructor’s image size in video lectures affect learning outcomes? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,33(4), 347–354.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosario, P., Nunez, J. C., Trigo, L., Guimaraes, C., Fernandez, E., Cerezo, R., et al. (2015). Transcultural analysis of the effectiveness of a program to promote self-regulated learning in Mozambique, Chile, Portugal, and Spain. Higher Education Research & Development,34(1), 173–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sankey, M., Birch, D., & Gardiner, M. (2012). The impact of multiple representations of content using multimedia on learning outcomes across learning styles and modal preferences. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT,7(3), 18–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Saunders, J. M. (2014). The flipped classroom: Its effect on student academic achievement and critical thinking skills in high school mathematics. Liberty University.

  • Schultz, D., Duffield, S., Rasmussen, S. C., & Wageman, J. (2014). Effects of the flipped classroom model on student performance for advanced placement high school chemistry students. Journal of Chemical Education,91(9), 1334–1339.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sergis, S., Sampson, D. G., & Pelliccione, L. (2017). Investigating the impact of flipped classroom on students’ learning experiences: A self-determination theory approach. Computers in Human Behavior,78, 368–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spector, J. M. (2016). Foundations of educational technology: Integrative approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • 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. The Ohio State University.

  • Strayer, J. F. (2012). How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environments Research,15(2), 171–193.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Su, Z., & Huang Z., P. (2012). Students "play" tablet in class "flipped classroom" supported by "cloud computing". Retrieved May 17, 2018 from (in Chinese).

  • Talbert, R. (2011). Using MATLAB to teach problem-solving techniques to first-year liberal arts students. Mathworks News and Notes,2011, 10–13.

    Google Scholar 

  • Talbert, R. (2014). Inverting the linear algebra classroom. Primus,24(5), 361–374.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Toh, Y., Jamaludin, A., Hung, W. L. D., & Chua, P. M. H. (2014). Ecological leadership: Going beyond system leadership for diffusing school-based innovations in the crucible of change for 21st century learning. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher,23(4), 835–850.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tucker, B. (2012). The flipped classroom. Education Next,12(1), 82–83.

    Google Scholar 

  • Villavicencio, F. T., & Bernardo, A. B. (2016). Beyond math anxiety: Positive emotions predict mathematics achievement, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher,25(3), 415–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was funded by the National Social Science Foundation of China “Research on the Evaluation System of individualization-oriented Internet Education Services in Primary and Middle Schools” (NO: BCA170075).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xuefeng Wei.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical stands.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Transcribed interviews

1. “In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach? Please provide several examples.”

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. There is a lot of information on the Internet that I learned at home, but some information distracted my concentration. My mother got involved and helped me control my learning pace

2. Watching videos before class helps me understand the mathematics content better. I have more time to ask the teacher questions

1. I like this method. I can easily download the video and watch it when I need it

2. The learning materials, combining video, text, and interaction, were very attractive to me

1. I take notes when I watch videos; I write down what I do not understand

2. Watching videos and taking quizzes can help me know which information has not been mastered, and I can learn actively

2. “Does this learning approach benefit your learning? Why? Please give examples.”

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. Using this learning approach, I can watch the video again and again where I did not understand. When I study in a traditional classroom, I have to ask the teacher for help after class. However, the teacher usually does not have enough time to answer all our questions

2. My self-control is poor and I am not taking the video lecture seriously. To finish watching the video, I usually need my parents’ help. I also cannot ask the teacher directly to explain something when I am confused

1. This method helped me a lot in mathematics, based on the feedback of the pre-class quiz, I can learn related content which I do not understand

2. My mathematics performance improved with the help of this approach. I took notes when watching the videos and the notes helped me to think deeply about the learning content

1. This approach benefits me a lot, specifically during in-class learning, when the teacher used the questioning strategy and guided me to think deeply

2. Some interactivities and extended knowledge are conducted in class, and this is very helpful for my mathematics learning

3. “Would you like to learn mathematics using this approach in the future? Why?”

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. I will use this approach because I have more time to discuss with teachers and peers

2. Yes, I like this approach, because my parents supervise my learning during out-of-class using this method

1. I would like to use this approach in the future. I found this approach effective for mathematics learning, because after the pre-class quiz, I knew content that I did not understand well

2. Yes, in the future I would like to learn mathematics using this approach. When I study in a traditional classroom, I have to ask the teacher for help after class. However, the teacher usually does not have enough time to answer all our questions. In the flipped classroom, I have more time to discuss with the teacher

1. Yes, I will continue to use this approach to learn mathematics. I like taking notes when watching videos, and the notes are very helpful for class discussion

2. I would like to use this approach in the future, as the questioning strategy can guide me to think deeply. This is very important

4. “Would you like to learn other courses using this approach? Why?”.

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. Yes, I would like to learn biology using this approach. Because I can watch biological videos before class, it can help me understand better

2. Parent involvement is helpful for students with low self-regulated learning. I would like to learn other courses using this approach, such as English, Chemistry, Physics, and so on

1. I would like to use this approach in learning English; I would be able to listen to the video lectures at home, specifically for the content that I did not understand well

2. I like this approach and I would like to use this approach in physics. Using this approach, I would be able to have more time to ask questions during in-class learning

1. I would like to use this approach in other courses, because we have more time to discuss with the teacher, and the teacher provides extended explanations for deepening knowledge understanding

2. Yes, because the teacher’s questioning strategy used in class is very helpful. Teachers’ feedback and comments are also very effective for my learning

5. “Would you recommend this approach to your peers? Do you think this approach will benefit them?”.

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. I would like to recommend this approach to my peers with poor self-control, because parents’ involvement can supervise their out-of-class learning

2. I will recommend this approach to my peers with low mathematics levels. They can watch videos and take the pre-class quiz by themselves in their out-of-class time

1. I would like to recommend this approach to peers who want to improve their mathematics performance. This approach provides students with more learning content, and more time to discuss in class

2. I will recommend this approach to my peers, because taking notes while watching videos is helpful for mathematics learning

1. I will recommend this approach to my peers, because we have more time to discuss problems and the teacher also provides extended explanations for deepening knowledge understanding

2. I would like to recommend this method to my peers, because the questioning strategy helps us think deeply

6. “Please share what should be improved after this learning approach. Why?”.

Low achievement group

Middle achievement group

High achievement group

1. I cannot watch videos seriously because my self-control is poor. I hope the video is designed more attractively

2. I hope the self-regulated learning strategy can be used in this learning approach to encourage students to be self-learners

1. When using this learning approach, a student’s motivation should be considered

2. Parents’ involvement is important, especially in out-of-class learning, and parents should learn how to cooperate with teacher to supervise student learning

1. Students have different learning needs; therefore, different flipped classroom teaching approaches should be designed according to students’ different knowledge levels

2. The teacher discussed questions only with two or three students; discussion during in-class learning should be more effective

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wei, X., Cheng, IL., Chen, NS. et al. Effect of the flipped classroom on the mathematics performance of middle school students. Education Tech Research Dev 68, 1461–1484 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: