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

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Abstract

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.

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Funding

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).

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Correspondence to Xuefeng Wei.

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Appendix

Appendix

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

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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). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09752-x

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