Impact of a Flipped Classroom on Academic Achievement | Proposal

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The Impact of a Flipped Classroom on Academic Achievement in Middle School

Abstract

In order to create a more engaging, technology enhanced, learning environment for all students, schools have started to look at different methods and strategies to use while teaching. By changing up traditional teaching procedures and focusing on collaborative learning supported by prior knowledge, understanding and retention of skills can improve.  This study has been conducted to assess the impact of using a flipped classroom approach to increase academic achievement. This study will examine the effects of a flipped classroom of students in middle school. The study will take place in a middle school in the DeKalb County Schools District. This will be a quantitative study. 60 participants, both male and female, ages 10-14 will be selected from a middle school within the DeKalb County Schools District. The participants will be split into two separate groups, using random selection. Data collection methods will include a pretest (T-Test) and a posttest (T-Test). This study hopes to show that a flipped classroom will have a positive impact on academic achievement in middle school students.

The Impact of a Flipped Classroom on Academic Achievement in Middle School

Chapter One: Introduction and Overview

This research study will examine what impacts a flipped classroom have on student academic achievement in middle school.  For this study, 60 middle school students will be selected to participate in this experiment. Each of the 60 middle school students will be given a pretest to determine their overall cognitive ability. The 60 students will then be divided into two separate groups through random assignment. Each of the groups will have 30 students. During the experiment, 30 students will be placed in the control group and 30 students will be placed in a treatment group. The students placed in the treatment group will be taught using the flipped classroom method, while the control group will be taught using the traditional classroom methods over a nine-week period. A posttest will be administered at the end of the nine-week period to examine the impact of the flipped classroom method compared to the traditional teaching methods.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects a flipped classroom will have on middle school students. It is expected that the flipped classroom method will increase student academic achievement in middle school students. If the flipped classroom method proves to be successful, schools and teachers will have an alternative method of teaching. Future studies of the flipped classroom method can be conducted to continue to examine the effects a flipped classroom have on academic achievement.

Justification

As classroom teachers continue to search for ways to improve engaging strategies, in order for their students to reach their full academic potential, many different teaching strategies are being put into practice. One of these strategies that teachers are using is a flipped classroom, allowing students to be introduced to new content and material at home, through the use of pre-recorded videos and technology. Once the students have reviewed the material at home, they will practice using the material at school. 

One justification for this experiment would be to investigate whether or not a flipped classroom improves test scores, improves retention of knowledge, and improves greater student achievement as investigated by Korrie Zupon. (Zupon, K., 2017) According to Zupon (2017), students who are actively engaged in higher-order thinking tasks, are more likely to take charge of their own learning.  Through experimentation, the goal of this study is to provide others with knowledgeable information regarding the correlation between a flipped classroom and academic achievement.

Research Question and Hypothesis

This study will try to answer the following question: How does a flipped classroom impact academic achievement in middle school students? The working hypothesis for this study is that using the flipped classroom method will increase academic achievement in middle school students. This hypothesis suggests a relationship between a flipped classroom (independent variable) and student academic achievement (dependent variable).

Definitions of Terms

Key Terms: flipped classroom, academic achievement, middle school.

Constitutive definitions. The following are the dictionary definitions of key terms in the study.

  • Flipped Classroom – A flipped classroom is a method used where students are introduced to content at home, and practice working through what they have learned at school. In this blended learning approach, face-to-face interaction is mixed with independent study via technology. Students watch pre-recorded videos at home, then come to school to do the homework armed with questions and at least some background knowledge. (Teach Thought, 2016)
  • Academic – of, relating to, or associated with an academy or school especially of higher learning. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2018)
  • Achievement – a result gained by effort. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2018)
  • Middle school – a school usually including grades five to eight or six to eight (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2018)

Operational Definitions. The following are the definitions of the terms in the way in which they are used in the study.

  • Flipped Classroom – Middle school students will be selected to participate in a classroom strategy that will allow them to be introduced to content at home by watching pre-recorded videos, and practice working through the material that they learned at home, in the classroom setting.
  • Academic Achievement – Students will be given a pretest (T-Test) prior to the experimentation to assess overall cognitive achievement. Students will also be given a posttest (T-Test) once the experiment has concluded to compare the results. The test scores will be examined to determine if the flipped classroom method has any impact on academic achievement.
  • Middle school – refers to schools that include students in grades 5-8 grades.

Chapter Two: Literature Review

Theory

Finding new strategies to increase academic achievement in schools is an ongoing process that is always changing and growing. Direct/explicit classrooms place the teacher at the front of the class lecturing to his/her students and then sending them home to complete their homework (Zupon, 2018). This direct/explicit method of teaching may change as flipped classrooms are being introduced. Reviewing literature pertaining to flipped classrooms and the technology being used to flip the classroom will help make it easier to understand if this new teaching model is just another fad or one that should be used in more classrooms. (Zupon, 2018)

Bruce, Hughes, and Somerville (2012) say that most information literacy programs do not “always extend attention to helping students engage with content through their information use processes” (p. 523). This is why it is so important to understand what educational methods work for 21st Century Learners. Understanding academic achievement and student enrichment is part of the process. Direct/explicit teaching methods may no longer be as effective as they once were, in today’s technology enriched society. (Zupon, 2018)

Studies Directly Related

In a review of literature, research shows that using the flipped classroom model, can increase academic achievement. According to Shultz, Duffield, Rassmussen, and Wagermen, students who participated in a flipped classroom approach performed higher statistically than those who did not receive instruction through the flipped classroom.(2014) They found that in the study that they conducted, most students had a positive perception about the flipped classroom. Participants felt that the ability to pause, rewind, and review lectures, was a positive as well as increased individualized learning and increased teacher availability. (Shultz, Duffield, Rassmussen, and Wagermen, 2014)

In another study conducted by Mazen and Hamaidi (2018), students who were in fourth-grade during the second term of the 2015-2016 academic school year, who attended private schools in Amman, Jordan, participated. The researchers selected a purposive sample consisting of 44 female and male students in the fourth-grade (22 experimental, 22 control). To achieve equalization in the two groups, the participants in the study were randomly assigned into two separate groups based on their academic achievement from the previous school year. (2014-2015) The experimental group, was taught using the flipped classroom method,  this group included 22 students (11 male, 11 female), and the control group included 22 students (12 male, 10 female) who were taught using the traditional teaching methods. (Mazan and Hamaidi, 2018) A pretest was administered to both the control group and the treatment group before the experiment began. A posttest was then administered to both groups after the experiment concluded, that covered the material that was taught over the course of 45 days.  The results of the study showed that most students had positive attitudes towards a flipped classroom model and had an increase in academic achievement test scores.

Studies Tangentially Related

Additional studies have also been conducted that examine the effects that a flipped classroom have on student attitudes. In the study conducted by Saglam and Arslan (2018), research found that students who participated in the flipped classroom approach had more positive attitudes towards the subject that was being taught than in the traditional classroom setting. Participants stated that “the flipped classroom is a fun and flexible method that enhances the learning permanence and facilitates learning.”(Saglam and Arslan, 2018) Using the flipped classroom method, students could become individualized and be responsible for their own learning, enabling them to work wherever and whenever they wanted. (Saglam and Arslan, 2018)

In summary, research indicates that using the flipped classroom method, does increase academic achievement. Through experimental research, this teaching method has provided an engaging, fun, and creative way for students to learn, while increasing their academic achievement. It also allows for students to take responsibility for their own learning and work at their own pace.  The flipped classroom method will give teachers a chance to present material in a new way that keeps up with today’s technology enhanced society and allows the students to be fully engaged in the material that they are learning.

Chapter Three: Procedures

Study Design

This study consists of a randomized pretest-posttest control group design. Two groups of subjects are used – a control group and a treatment group – that will be selected at random. The treatment group will be receiving the flipped classroom instruction, while the control group receives instruction using the traditional teaching methods. A pretest will be used to produce data on academic achievement before the experiment is conducted. A posttest will be used at the conclusion of the experiment and will produce data that will be compared to the pretest data.

Sample

The research study contains a sample of 60 school students who attend middle school, ranging between the ages of 10 and 14, spread throughout fifth through eighth grades in DeKalb County, Alabama. These students will be chosen at random from a pool of 200 students. The makeup of the random sample includes the following ethnicities: Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Indians. Of the 60 students selected, 30 will be male and 30 will be female.

Instruments

The instrument that will be used to conduct this study will be the t-test. The t-test (also called Student’s T Test) compares two averages (means) and tells if the averages are different from each other. The t-test also shows how significant the differences are. The t-test show if those differences could have happened by chance or not. (Statistics How To, 2018)

The t-test will be used for both the pretest and the posttest. Specified teachers will administer the test before the experiment begins and again when the experiment concludes. Scoring will be computer entry scored using a specific score reporting system. The scores will be interpreted by the researcher to see if there is an increase in academic achievement scores from pretest to posttest consisting of quantitative analysis using the following:

  • Subtest scale scores
  • Area and total test standard scores
  • Percentile ranks

In this study, the internal consistency will be measured using the split-half reliability method to evaluate scores on several of the same students on the t-test within a nine-week period. To ensure stability for the t-test, the researcher will arrange to give the assessment twice.  The second time will take place after a nine-week period and be given to the experimental group and the control group.  The researcher hopes to eradicate errors of measurement within the statistical results.

In order to check for validity, the results of the t-test will be compared to the scores after the nine-week period, and also with the comparison group receiving regular classroom instruction.

Procedure

In October of the 2018-2019 school year, 60 middle school students will be selected to participate in this experiment. Each of the 60 students selected will be given the t-test (pretest) to measure their overall cognitive achievement. The 60 students will be divided into two separate groups through random assignment. Each group will contain 30 students. There will be a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group will receive instruction using the flipped classroom method. The control group will receive instruction using the traditional classroom method. A posttest will be given nine weeks after the experiment begins to both groups.

The experimental group will receive instruction using the flipped classroom method, where the middle school student will be introduced to new content and material at home, through the use of pre-recorded videos and technology. Once the students have received the material at home, they will practice what they have learned in the classroom setting at school for the nine week period. 

Internal Validity

Subject characteristics, testing, and subject attitude may pose a threat to the internal validity of the study. Careful consideration of these threats and strategies to control for them will help in limiting the threat that they may pose.  The following paragraphs below describe each of the potential threats and provide an explanation of the how the threats will be attempted to be controlled.

Subject Characteristics pose a threat because the groups may be different according to gender, motivation, IQ, socioeconomic status, and attitudes.  In order to attempt to control this threat, random assignment will be used in selection of the groups as well as, maintaining an equal number of the males and females chosen for both groups. A large random sample will also help with this threat.

Testing is a threat because it may produce a practice effect for students.  An attempt to control this by giving the pretest to both groups at the same time and same day, while assuming that the pretest has an equal effect on both groups.

Subject Attitude is a threat because if participants are aware that they are in a study, they may alter their behavior. If the comparison group knows that the experimental group is receiving the material at home, before hand and they are not, it may affect post test scores.  An attempt to control this is by searching for ways to provide regular class instruction that will be unique, fun, and original. A large random sample will also help with this threat.

External Validity

This study may be generalized to all middle school students who live in low to mid-range socioeconomic areas, in the range of 10-14, in DeKalb County, Alabama because the sample represents this population. The results cannot be generalized to any other setting because the sample size is not big enough.

References

Bruce, C., Hughes, H. M., & Somerville, M. M. (2012). Supporting informed learners in the twenty-first century. Library Trends, (3), 522. Retrieved from https://muse-jhuedu.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/journals/library_trends/v060/60.3.bruce.html

Investopedia, T-Test (2018) Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/t-test.asp

Mazen E., Hamaidi, D. (2018). The Effect of Using Flipped Classroom Strategy on the Academic Achievement of Fourth Grade Students in Jordan. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET). 13. 110. 10.3991/ijet.v13i02.7816.

Sağlam, D and Arslan, A. (2018). The Effect of Flipped Classroom on the Academic Achievement and Attitude of Higher Education Students. World Journal of Education. 8. 170. 10.5430/wje.v8n4p170

Shultz, D., Duffield, S., Rassmussen, S., Wagemen, 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 Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed400868x

Zupon, K., “Flipped Classrooms and Student Achievement” (2017). Culminating Projects in Information Media. 13. http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/im_etds/13

Appendix A

Consent Form

Research Proposal Title: The Impact of a Flipped Classroom on Academic Achievement in Middle School.

  1. What is the purpose of the study? The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of a flipped classroom on academic achievement in middle school students.
  2. How was I chosen to participate? You were randomly selected from a pool of 200 students in your school.
  3. What will be involved in participating in the study? You may be asked to receive instruction through the flipped classroom method. The flipped classroom method will allow you to learn new content and material at home, through the use of pre-recorded videos and technology. Once you have reviewed the material at home, you will practice what you have learned in a school setting.
  4. What risks and benefits are associated with participation in the study? This is a low-risk study. However, dependent upon how much you review the material at home, you may not experience the same types of discussions and activities as others participating in the study. In benefit, you may find a new way to learn material and content that can be engaging and exciting.
  5. What are my rights as a respondent? You may ask any questions regarding the research, and they will be answered completely.  Your participation in the study is voluntary; you may withdraw from the study at any time.
  6. What will be published after the study is complete?  Following the completion of this research proposal, I plan to maintain my records for use in future publications and scholarly presentations.  I plan to publish my findings as articles in professional journals, with the ultimate goal of publishing a book or a chapter in a book.
  7. If I want more information, whom can I contact about the study? This study has been approved by the University.  This board can be contacted through the office.

 __________________________             ___________________________________

Appendix B

Permission to Conduct Research

Dear ,

I am submitting my request to you to perform an educational research project with the sole purpose of ascertaining whether or not a flipped classroom affects the achievement test scores of learners in grades fifth through eight. If the outcome of the study shows growth in test  scores for the learners, the results could lead to a more enjoyable method of  providing and receiving instruction for both teachers and learners. With permission from you, the study will occur between the dates of October 4, 2018 and November 29, 2018.

Obviously, this project will prove beneficial to the school system as a whole, if the results show an increase in learner test scores over the scores obtained while being taught using traditional teaching methods. Please review the enclosed material and give your consent to this research proposal

Sincerely,

Appendix C

AUTHORIZATION FOR A MINOR TO SERVE

AS A SUBJECT IN RESEARCH

I authorize the service of _____________________ as a subject in the research investigation entitled: The Impact of a Flipped Classroom on Academic Achievement in Middle Schools.

The purpose of the research procedure and the known risks have been explained to me. I understand that _____________________ will be given a preservice explanation of the research study and that he/she may decline to serve. Further, I understand that he/she may withdraw his/her service in this research at any time he/she chooses.

            I understand the known risks of the study include the possibility of achievement scores not increasing.

            I understand also that it is not possible to identify all potential risks in an experimental procedure, and I believe that reasonable precautions have been taken to minimize both the known and the potential but unknown risks.

           I agree further to indemnify and hold harmless the University and its agents and employees from any and all liability, actions, or causes of actions that may accrue to the subject minor as a result of his/her activities for which this consent is granted.

Witness_____________________________ Signed_____________________________

                                                                                    (parent or guardian)

                                                                        Date_______________________________

Appendix D

Instrument

Basic Information

The instrument used to generate data for this study is the T-Test. A t-test is an analysis framework used to determine the difference between two sample means from two normally distributed populations with unknown variances. A t-test is an analysis of two populations means through the use of statistical examination; researchers commonly use a t-test with two samples with small sample sizes, testing the difference between the samples when they do not know the variances of two normal distributions. A t-test looks at the t-statistic, the t-distribution and degrees of freedom to determine the probability of difference between populations; the test statistic in the test is the t-statistic. To conduct a test with three or more variables, one must use an analysis of variance. (T-Test Investopedia, 2018)

Statistical Analysis of the T-Test

The formula used to calculate the test is a ratio: The top portion of the ratio is the easiest portion to calculate and understand as it is the difference between the means or averages of the two samples. The lower half of the ratio is a measurement of the dispersion, or variability, of the scores. The bottom part of this ratio is the standard error of the difference. To compute this part of the ratio, one must determine the variance for each sample and divide by the number of individuals comprising the sample or group. These two values are then added together, and a square root is taken of the result. (T-Test Investopedia, 2018)

Scoring

The T-Test will be used for both the pretest and the posttest. Specified teachers will administer the test before the experiment begins and again when the experiment concludes. Scoring will be computer entry scored using a specific score reporting system. The scores will be interpreted by the researcher to see if there is an increase in achievement scores from pretest to posttest consisting of quantitative analysis using the following:

  • Subtest scale scores
  • Area and total test standard scores

Percentile ranks

Reliability and Validity

           Through research, the T-Test has been found to be reliable and valid when only using two sample groups.  Therefore, the T-Test was chosen, instead of the ANOVA test that compares more than two large sampling groups.

           In this study, the split-half reliability method will be used to evaluate the scores on several of the same students on the T-Test within the nine-week period. To measure the validity, the scores of the pretest, of the experimental group, will be compared to the their scores of the posttest.

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