Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Facilitating and Bridging Out-of-Class and In-Class Learning: An Interactive E-Book-Based Flipped Learning Approach for Math Courses

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Facilitating and Bridging Out-of-Class and In-Class Learning: An Interactive E-Book-Based Flipped Learning Approach for Math Courses

Article excerpt


In recent years, the positive effect of student-centered learning modes has been frequently discussed (Kong, 2015; McLaughlin et al., 2014). Several studies have revealed that this learning mode can improve students' learning achievement and increase the interaction among peers and teachers (Schultz, Duffield, Rasmussen, & Wageman, 2014). Currently, flipped learning is recognized as a learning mode that achieves the goal of student-centered learning, and engages students in meaningful peer-to-peer and peer-to-teacher interactions (Gaughan, 2014; Pierce & Fox, 2012). The learning mode of flipped learning involves students watching and reviewing the learning content before taking a class. The learning content students study was traditionally taught via direct instruction, but students can actually understand the knowledge themselves. Subsequently, by adopting this approach, there is more time for students and teachers to engage in individual and small group learning (i.e., project-based learning, problem-solving, or in-depth discussion) (Gilboy, Heinerichs, & Pazzaglia, 2015).

Some of the studies have already confirmed the advantages of implementing flipped learning in regular courses. For instance, Kong (2015) conducted three years of flipped learning to improve students' critical thinking in Humanities courses. In the flipped learning activities, the students had to preview the learning content on the pre-lesson learning platform, take part in group discussions in class, and then engage in extended learning after class. According to the intervention, it was found that the students' critical thinking abilities were improved, and they spent more time deducting, explaining, and evaluating the knowledge related to their learning. On the other hand, Al-Zahrani (2015) integrated the flipped learning mode into an e-learning course. The findings revealed that the flipped classroom enhanced the students' learning as well as stimulating their creativity when they were discussing or solving problems with their peers.

However, Al-Zahrani's (2015) research also indicated the challenges of flipped learning, including the provision of adequate learning guidance. For instance, in the out-of-class learning activities, some of the learning content was abstract conceptions or was difficult to comprehend, such as mathematics concepts (Kim, Kim, Khera, & Getman, 2014; Kuo, Hwang, & Lee, 2012). Without proper guidance, students might feel helpless and fail to acquire the knowledge they need for the upcoming in-class activities (Mason, Shuman, & Cook, 2013; McLaughlin et al., 2013). Several studies have addressed this issue by analyzing students' learning logs, and providing personalized supports via mobile devices (Ogata et al., 2015; Yin et al., 2015). Hwang, Lai and Wang (2015) further indicated the importance of bridging the out-of-class and in-class learning using mobile technology.

Therefore, in this study, an interactive e-book-based flipped learning approach is proposed. Several functions of this approach were included. For instance, the interactive e-book system consisted of all of the learning material the students have to learn outside the classroom. The students can directly make some annotations on the e-books, which they can then bring to class to share their ideas with their peers and teachers. Moreover, the system records the learning status and notes of all students. The teachers can monitor students' learning status before starting the in-class activities. To exam the effectiveness of the proposed approach, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness in terms of students' learning achievement and self-efficacy. In addition, students' learning records in the interactive e-book-based flipped learning are also analyzed and discussed.

Literature review

Flipped classroom and flipped learning

The term "flipped classroom" refers to engaging students in gaining basic knowledge before class, and providing more activities, such as doing exercises or interacting with peers and the teacher in class (Pierce & Fox, 2012). …

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