Top 10 Must Read Research Papers in September

Out of The Box September / Special / September 18, 2018

-by Jon Bergmann-

This month set a new record for the number of research articles about Flipped Learning – there were 95! If it keeps growing at this pace, I don’t know if I can keep up.

The big trend this month highlights the gulf between Flipped Learning 1.0 and 3.0. We’ve gone beyond just looking at the best use of face-to-face time. Now we are looking at how to best create and design the pre-class assignments for maximum student engagement. Researchers found that connecting the pre-class work to the group space was critical (#5). They also looked at making the pre-class work social (#6), co-creating the pre-class work (#7), creating pre-class work using augmented reality (#8), having students watch the pre-class videos together (#9), and creating immersive 3D flipped videos (#10).

One study (#2) examined 73 other studies and found that the most cited advantage to Flipped Learning was increased student performance. Another study connected Flipped Learning to active learning (#1). And yet another demonstrated how Flipped Learning reduced the math anxiety of students (#3).

Top 10



Other Notable Research

      • Ambrose Azeta and others (the same researcher above), compared Flipped Learning with Project Based Learning, Inquiry-Learning, and Problem-Based Learning. Flipped Learning showed better results than all of the other models. Project Based Learning was a close second. As I examine this study, I wonder if it is a bit off the mark because we see many studies that couple Flipped Learning with these other strategies for maximal impact.  
      • Michael M. Van Wyk flipped his instruction of pre-service teachers on how to teach an economics course. He found that Flipped Learning improved student achievement, “encouraged an engaging atmosphere, and fostered a collaborative, interactive synergy among student teachers.”
      • Hung-Hsu Tsai and others used iBeacon technology to enhance the group space in a flipped classroom. iBeacon technology senses other devices in a room and serves as a souped-up student-response system. They found that using these tools increased student learning. This study suggests that using interactive tools in the group space will enhance the learning of students.
      • Feifan Shen and others proposed a new Flipped Learning model which utilizes smart devices beyond the pre-class work. They compare what they call the traditional flipped class with the “Smart Learning Flipped Class.” They contrast the two models in easy to understand graphics.

Fig. 1. Structure of the traditional smart learning model of the flipped classroom

Fig. 2. Structure of the new smart learning model of the flipped classroom


They found the second model more effective and made a good case for it from their research. My fear with this model is that it relies too much on technology in the group space. We don’t want students staring at and interacting with screens when they are in class. Instead, we want them to be actively involved in interacting with each other.

      • L. Descalço and others examined how students get motivated to complete pre-work in a flipped class. They found that this is one of the key sticking points and that there is a need to find new and innovative ways to motivate students in this area.
      • Ting Qiu and others created a role-playing environment in their flipped classroom and found that role-playing enhanced student learning. This is yet another validation that Flipped Learning is the meta-strategy that supports all other active methodologies.
      • Annelies Decloedt and others found that flipping the teaching of veterinary surgical techniques increased student self-efficacy and surgical skills.
      • Bryan A. McCabe describes his six-year journey in flipping his engineering course in Ireland. He urges others to adopt Flipped Learning because of the positive effects he has seen in his courses. This paper is well worth the read as Bryan’s six-year experience is impressive.
      • Nikolaos Pellas, University of the Aegean, compared traditional and flipped classes in a higher education media design course. He found “substantial differences in both academic performance and training satisfaction between the two groups.”
      • Emily Han (University of Michigan) examined 48 Flipped Learning studies and asked what the best types of pre-class activities (reading, video, or other assignments) were. She concluded that there wasn’t enough data to tell us definitively what the ideal type of pre-class activity is. Though I don’t have a study to back this up, I think the ideal is that each lesson needs examining, and then the teacher must determine the best way to introduce the content.  

Jon Bergmann
Jon Bergmann Bergmann
Jon Bergmann is one of the pioneers of the Flipped Classroom Movement. He is leading the worldwide adoption of flipped learning through the Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI) He is working with governments, schools, corporations, and education non-profits. Jon has coordinated and guided flipped learning projects around the globe. Locations include: China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Middle East, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the United States. Jon is the author of nine books including the bestselling book: Flip Your Classroom which has been translated into 13 languages. He is the founder of the global FlipCon conferences which are dynamic engaging events which inspire educators to transform their practice through flipped learning.

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