A Comparative Study of the Teaching Effect of ‘Flipped’ MOOC Class and Conventional Class

  • Xiaolu Chen
  • Helan Wu
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


MOOC and flipped classes are models of instruction which have sprung up in the last few years, in educational circles all over the world. In the School of Physics and Engineering at Tongji University, we have integrated a flipped class into a MOOC teaching method, which is called a ‘flipped’ MOOC class. The aim of this paper is to assess whether this improves the quality of instruction in university physics classes and enhances student performance. Two second-year physics classes were randomly chosen as the research subjects, with one class being taught in the conventional way and the other with the flipped MOOC method. In order to guarantee a reliable foundation for comparing students’ learning effectiveness in these two approaches, we analysed the rationality of the teaching process and the evaluation method. After a correlation analysis of the students’ records for both classes, we concluded that the flipped MOOC class showed an enhanced teaching effect and better student grades than the conventional class. In the process, we encountered some unexpected problems. So, we figured out why they were happening and reflected on how we could handle these difficulties if we wanted to promote quality instruction and improve students’ ability by this flipped MOOC approach.


Massive open online courses MOOC Flipped class Teaching effect 


  1. Ash, K. (2012). Educators evaluate ‘flipped classrooms. Education Week, 10, 6–8.Google Scholar
  2. Cannod, G. C., Burge, J. E., & Helmick, M. T. (2008). Using the inverted classroom to teach software engineering. Proceedings from the ACM/IEEE 30th international conference on software engineering (pp. 777–786). Leipzig, Germany.Google Scholar
  3. Gardner, J. G (2012). The inverted agricultural economics classroom: A new way to teach? Presented at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association AAEA annual meeting. Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  4. Strayer, J. F. (2012). How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environment Research, 15, 171–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. The State Council. (2010). The national plan for medium- and long-term education reform and development (2010–2020). Beijing, China. Retrieved from (in Chinese).
  6. Wang, X. D., & Zhang, C. J. Z. (2013). The application of research on flipped classroom in university teaching. Modern Educational Technology, 8, 11–16.Google Scholar
  7. Yang, G., Yang, W. Z., & Chen, L. (2012). Ten cases of ‘flipped classroom’. Educational Technology of Middle and Primary School, 8, 11–13.Google Scholar
  8. Zhang, Y. J. (2012). The change of flipped classroom. China Information Technology Education, 10, 118–121.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolu Chen
    • 1
  • Helan Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Physics Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations