Virtual School Meanderings

March 6, 2017

SITE 2017 – Flipping Math in a Secondary Classroom

The seventh session that I am blogged here at SITE 2017 related to K-12 Online and Blended Learning is:

Flipping Math in a Secondary Classroom

  1. Kevin J. Graziano, School of Education, Nevada State College, United States
  2. John D. Hall, Global High School, United States

Monday, March 6 4:15-4:35 PM in Capitol G View on map

for 4:15 PM-5:15 PM in Capitol G.

The purpose of this study was to examine the academic performance of English Language Learners who received flipped instruction in an algebra course at a newcomer high school, and to investigate ELL perceptions of flipped learning. Results indicate that students of this study were engaged with flipped instruction, were motivated to learn algebra, believed flipped instruction was effective, and enjoyed the course structure more than a traditional classroom. Results also indicate that students enrolled in the flipped course performed slightly higher than their ELL peers who received traditional instruction.

Brief Paper
Distance/Flexible Education K-12 Online Learning Mobile Learning

So it seems I was sitting in the wrong room (I was in Capitol H, instead of Capitol G).  So I missed the first 4-5 minutes.  When I walked in, the presenter was discussing the need for the study – which focused on the lack of research in the K-12 environment, as well as the large amount of anecdotal literature on the topic.

The study itself was essentially a media comparison study, conducted in a three sections of Algebra I – with one section being the control group.  The students were almost all English as a second language students.  Interestingly, the presenter indicated that the students were chosen randomly – but any of us that know how high school develop schedules there is nothing random about it.  So this was not a randomized study, regardless of what the presenter claimed.

In the treatment groups, the teacher – who was also a co-researcher – created one annotated video each week throughout the entire 2015-16 school year.  Students would watch the videos outside of class – either before or after the class occurred.  Technology was provided at the school for those folks that did not have access to technology at home.

The actual data was simply final grades for the students in the three section, using an independent t-test to determine “did the flip work?”  The researchers also used class discussions and a student perception survey to answer the second research question (which I missed at the beginning).

Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that the results were not found to be statistically significant.  “Based on the descriptive statistics of final grades alone, one could conclude that the flipped classroom resulted in a higher class average.”  However, the independent t-test found there to be no statistical significance in the difference.  “But as you can see, we were so close and we feel that it was the sample size that prevented us from a statistically significant result in favor of the flipped.”

For those reading this entry, note that these results are a strict media comparison study.  So even if there was statistical significance, the researchers could NEVER attribute that difference to the flipped classroom.  In fact, the treatment group began with a class average from the previous school year of 5% higher than the control group (suggesting that the flipped classroom students were already stronger students in the first place).

The researchers also found that the students reported that they enjoyed and were more motivated in the flipped classroom.  But teenagers will also tell you that they want chocolate for breakfast too, not that it is actually a nutritionally sound choice!

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