In the existing literature on flipped classroom, various authors have different opinions regarding the impact of flipped classrooms on students’ achievement in mathematics. The research studies performed by AlKhunaizi (2014), Love et al., (2014), Bhagat et al., (2016), Ashby et al., (2011), Briggs (2014) and Diab and Abdel all have a research design in which there is an experimental and a control group. The experimental group was taught by the flipped classroom instruction while the control group in the experiments was taught by traditional teaching methods.

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In summary, the results of the study by AlKhunaizi (2014), Love et al., (2014) and Bhagat et al., (2016) show that flipped classroom model enhances student performance. On the other hand the results of the study by Ashby et al., (2011), Briggs (2014) and Diab and Abdel assert that the flipped classroom model does not necessarily improve learners’ performance in mathematics. It is important to note that the studies used high school students.

One of the reasons for the difference is teacher effect. The studies involved different teachers and these teachers have different mode of instruction and classroom management. The effectiveness of the delivery model adopted by the teacher could explain the differences in the findings. Different teachers have different ways in which they draw the attention of students and deliver the course content. This cuts across all the studies but should also be evaluated based on the cognitive abilities of the students. In addition, in the design, pre and post-test analysis was performed on the students. However, it is important to note that the students in question had different cognitive abilities and may have had different prior academic performance. This shows that student effect could play a role in justifying the different findings. This shows that the method of assigning students to the groups is different for the research studies.

This is related to the number of participants included in the studies. The AlKhunaizi study included 54 trainees for the traditional techniques and 51 trainees for the blended technique instruction; Bhagat, Chang & Chang (2016) included 82 high school students participated in the study; 41 in the control group and 41 in the experimental group; Abdel and Diab (2016) has 79 participants; Ashby, Sadera & McNary had 167 participants and Briggs (2014) had 164 students included in the control group and 59 students in the treatment group. From the above and controlling for other factors, it is seen that Ashby, Sadera & McNary and Briggs studies had relatively more participants. The number of participants for the studies might have had an effect on the results of the studies.

The studies by AlKhunaizi (2014), Love et al., (2014) and Bhagat et al., (2016) that showed that flipped instruction improved academic performance of students are quasi-experimental research design. The design of these studies is different from the design of study by Briggs that used causal-comparative research design. The causal-comparative seeks to establish the cause or effect of differences among groups. This research design is different from the quasi-experimental design that was used for other studies. Quasi-experimental design lacks the element of random assignment to the control and intervention group that is available in the causal-comparative research design. From the Briggs (2014) study it is seen that there is a computer algorithm that was used to randomly assign the students to the treatment and control group. This did not consider the academic achievement and geographical location among other student factors.

The method of analysis could also explain the difference in the findings. While the studies by AlKhunaizi (2014), Love et al., (2014) and Bhagat et al., (2016) used t-test analysis to analyze the results, the other studies used other tests. For example, the Briggs study used Mann-Whitney U-test which did not indicate any significant difference between the scores in the two groups.

  • AlKhunaizi, M. M. (2014). A comparative study of traditional instruction and blended learning in Saudi ARAMCO mathematics courses. Arizona: University of Phoenix.
  • Ashby, J., Sadera, W. A., & McNary, S. W. (2011). Comparing student success between
    developmental math courses offered online, blended, and face-to-face. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 10(3), 128-140.
  • Bhagat, K. K., Chang, C. N., & Chang, C. Y. (2016). The impact of the flipped classroom on mathematics concept learning in high school. Educational Technology & Society, 19(3), 134-142.
  • Briggs, K. (2014). Blended Learning vs. Face-to-face Instruction: A quantitative evaluation of student achievement in Algebra I. Boston: Northcentral University.
  • Diab, B. M., & Abdel, K. M. (2016). The effect of using flipped classroom instruction on students’ achievement in the new 2016 scholastic assessment test mathematics skills in the United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates
  • Love, B., Hodge, A., Grandgenett, N., & Swift, A. W. (2014). Student learning and perceptions in a flipped linear algebra course. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 45(3), 317-324.