A Comparative Study of Flipped and Non-flipped Calculus Classes: An Educational Ethnography


Taylor Kline

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Spring 2020


Due to the increased need for students to graduate with a STEM degree in order to fill STEM positions in the workforce, educators and researchers are trying to investigate how to retain as many STEM-intending majors as possible. Previous research in this area urges educators to create a classroom setting that is more student-centered, attempting to break away from the traditional lecture style of teaching. The purpose of this study was to explore whether or not making the switch to a flipped-style class could be the change that allows students to be more successful in pursuing their STEM degree and encourages them to continue in their major. This study was an educational ethnography in which two Calculus II classes were observed. At the end of the semester, interviews with struggling students were conducted, and the data was open coded by the themes that emerged among those students. Among those themes, students generally had a positive reflection of their experience within the flipped classroom style, and students acknowledged the shortcomings that lecture classes tend to possess. Further research is needed to determine if the flipped class style of teaching improves student success as well as whether it indeed increases the retention rates of students.


Rebecca Dibbs

Subject Categories

Mathematics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics