Monday, 28 October 2013

MARLOWE,CA., (2012) The Effect of the Flipped Classroom On Student Acheievement and stress. Moontana State University.

This article drew me in through the title and the appendix. The research included in the article is aimed at younger people rather than university students. Though some parts of this article were interesting the most relevant was the appendix.
The appendix was really good at giving a good idea of how to write a questionnaire aimed at students.

BEICHNER, RJ., SAULT, M.T., ABBOTT,D.S., et al(2007) The Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs(Scale-up) Project. Research-based reform University Physics 1, No1: 2-39

Beichner is the creator of the scale up project. He describes the main goal of the project it to "Establish a highly collaborative, hands-on, computer-rich, interactive learning environment for large, introductory college courses." He aimed the project for students studying science however I have now read that many subject areas have used this way of teaching.
His aim is to get groups of students to work in groups and become engaged with the material they are been taught. Scales up lessons are another type of lesson for teachers/ lecturers to use other that lectures or in his case lab work. In a scale up class all the students are taught in the same room with the same students and lecturers in every class so that each lesson can build on the last. An effective scale up classroom is where a lecturer is able to move around and interact with each group. This means that the lecturer is able to help any group with problems and make sure they interact with every group.
Part of the scale up approach is setting students reading / research to do before the lesson. When in lesson the work on group activities based on their reading, the lecturer can also set follow up homework for students to further practice/ understand what they have been doing in the lesson.
Technology is used in Beichner's scale up lessons to allow data collection, analysis, mathematical modelling etc.
He advises that any staff who wants to use the scale up approach first think about what they want the students to learn from their lesson. He suggests that some teachers just use textbook topics to base a lesson upon however there are other goals that can be applied.
Beichner explains that there is also a large body of evidence that suggest that students learn best when they work together. In a book by Alexander Astin (what Matters In College) explains that "peer involvement and student/teacher interaction are by far the most significant influences on retention and achievement." He creates the groups in lessons based on things such as previous scores and grades in previous course work and attempts to make each group heterogeneous. He splits the students with the top grades up into separate groups and the same with the lower grades so that students are recourses to the rest of the groups. The groups are also switched 3 or 4 times each term because if not the groups become too comfortable with one another and discussion topics are not always what they should be. He also noted that there is a 'two week lull' somewhere around the 10th week where the class performance drops. If the groups were only to be switched once a term then there is often a lot of disruption because the students have formed friendships however regularly changing the groups prevents this. in addition to this each group creates a contract so that if a team member is not pulling their weight the group can "fire" them, and because some group work is too much to do alone they avoid been fired.
They also make sure that grades are not 'curved' as curving discourages student collaboration. (A student has so done badly for a student to do well.) Instead the student earns point through activities. Homework set counts towards 20-25% of the overall grade rather than 10-15%. This encourages the students to put in more effort for their homework.
Student can access an outline of the day’s lesson plan which helps them to have an advanced organiser of the day’s work. All the activities in the lesson are based on one particular topic. 'Tangibles' are short, hand on acuities and 'ponderable' are interesting questions too consider. These types of activities are to help with student difficulties. Tangibles present a physical situation that requires observation or data collection. They ask questions like 'why are we doing this?' and 'what am I supposed to learn from this?'
Beichner uses 'webassign' for homework. They are given straight forward questions to do before class to encourage students to read. During class the teacher focuses on difficulties rather than the basics. Evaluation studies found that students read a book ahead of lesson when reading quizzes are assigned (UCF Studies.) Webassign is used for follow homework which makes sure that every one completes the homework.
Finally Beichner talks about the educational impact the project had on the students. The scale up findings:
  • ·         "Conceptual understanding is increased
  • ·         The top third of the class show the greatest improvement in conceptual understanding
  • ·         Ability to solve problems is as good or better
  • ·         Attitudes are improved
  • ·         Class attendance is higher, typically >90%
  • ·         Failure rates are drastically reduced (typically 50%), especially for women and minorities
  • ·         Performance in the second semester physics is improves, whether taught traditionally or in SCALE-UP
  • ·         Failure of at risk students in a later engineering statics class is cut in half."  Page 37

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Flipped Lecture 
By Simon J. Lancaster

Main points

I've done a brief summary of each section. This journal mainly discusses its use in a chemistry context but we can relate some parts to education. 

Flipped learning can use a variety of technology facilitated strategies to maximise engagement, probe understanding and ensure students are able to apply the knowledge effectively.

It gives students skills that graduates will need in employment, including the ability to work independently to solve problems.

It's shown that brain activity during lectures is comparable to that registered when watching television (Poh et al 2010). Furthermore, students are remarkably poor judges of how effectively they have learned during a lecture. Their impression appears to be based largely on the performance of the lecturer.

The consensus is that dynamic, interactive learning in which students are presented with opportunities to solve problems is more effective.

However, our institutions rarely have the resources to increase contact time and the difficulty is the type of teaching we would like to do takes time.

Executing the flip
Flipped learning should be student led wherever possible and students should send their queries to the academic in advance.

Lecture flipping is by far the best received change to teaching practice. No two flipped sessions will be the same and it will help students to come to terms with their misconceptions.
However, flipping the lecture can only be recommended for teaching staff convinced by the potential of interactivity and engagement with the confidence to relinquish some control.

For the student, flipping lectures promotes independent learning and allows much greater attention to problem solving and higher order skills.

The Flipped Classroom- Online instruction at home frees class time for learning 
By Bill Tucker

Main points

Bergmann and Sams stumbled across the idea of a flipped classroom because they were struggling to find the time to reteach lessons for absent students.

The advantages of it are the class becomes the place to work through problems, advance concepts, engage in collaborative learning and maximise the scarcest learning-resource time.

Bergmann was able to check their notes and required each student to come to class with a question to think more deeply about the content. He could easily query individual students, probe for misconceptions and clear up incorrect notions. Bergmann also had the time to work individually with every student. He quoted "I talk to every student in every classroom every day."

He notes he now spends more time with struggling students and advanced students have more freedom to learn independently. The new arrangement fosters better relationships; there is greater student engagement and higher levels of motivation.

Other teachers incorporating the method have discussed how it poses a tremendous instructional challenge on how to explain a concept in a clear, concise, bite-sized chunk.

However, the flipped classroom approach runs the risk of being falsely pigeon-holed into one of educations many false dichotomies and can be seen as another front in a false battle between teachers and technology.

Arfstrom, K, M. & Hamdan, N. & McKnight, K. (2013). The Flipped Learning Model: A WHITE PAPER BASED ON THE LITERATURE REVIEW TITLED A REVIEW OF FLIPPED LEARNING.

Two Colorado teachers, Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams, are 'often referred to as the pioneers of Flipped Learning.' (p3). In 2007 they started to use live lectures and voiceover powerpoints for students. In their book "Flip your classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day (2012)" they stated that after flipping their classroom, students started 'interacting more in class' and 'students who were behind received more individual attention while advanced students continued to progress.' (p3). In 2012 they set up the not-for-profit Flipped Learning Network (FLN) to allow teachers to learn about the flipped classroom. In January 2012, 2500 teachers were members, and in March 2013, over 12000 teachers were members. (p3).

'No two flipped classrooms are identical.' (p4).

The article talks about the shift from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered classroom, where the in-class time is spent doing work and activities in greater depth as reading or other work has been done beforehand so the students are already knowledgeable about the session. In the flipped classroom, educators are more important than ever, and the theory that online podcasts or videos will replace educators over time is unlikely; just because their role is less visible in the flipped classroom they are just as important, if not more, than before.

'Quantitative and rigorous qualitative research on Flipped Learning is limited.' (p6).

'Active learning also improves student academic performance.' (p6).

'Increases student engagement and critical thinking; and improves student attitudes.' (p6).

Eric Mazur at Harvard University is in favour of the flipped classroom stating that new technology such as online lectures, podcasts and videos allow the students to prepare for their next session with their teacher and focus on further learning rather than sitting and note taking like in traditional settings.

Mussalam 2010: 'students who had studied material outside of class found it to be easier to learn new material in class.' (p7).

Flipped classroom research is generally: 'teacher reports on student achievement after adopting the model, descriptions of flipped classrooms, course completion rates, survey research measuring an array of outcomes, such as teacher, student and parent attitudinal changes.' (p7).

'May not be the best structure, for example, for an introductory course.' (p8).

Rutherfoord, J. & Rutherfoord, R. (2013). Flipping the Classroom - Is It For You? pp. 19-22

The flipped classroom is not an entirely new idea, it was developed from similar activities such as 'hybrid or blended classrooms.' (p19).

The article talks about flipped classrooms giving students more freedom and control, enabling them to work at their own time and pace. In simple terms the flipped classroom is quite simply doing the homework before the lesson with the use of podcasts or videos, and then using the lesson time to complete further work in more depth with the teacher on hand if needed. Many people are in favour of the flipped classroom however there is 'still a lot of controversy among educators.' (p19).

The early work of Eric Mazur at Harvard (1990's) links to the flipped classroom approach, by using computers to give instructions he then had more time to help his students rather than just feed them information.

Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams used a software that allowed speech over powerpoints, they also began posting live lectures online for pupils who were absent from the lectures. This soon became a popular method and they were asked to speak about it around their county.

Clintondale High School, Detroit: Teachers created 3 videos per week lasting 5-7 minutes for students to watch at home. Class time was then used for different activities and students had the teacher in the same room if they needed any help. Before the study 50% freshman failed English and 44% failed Maths. Afterwards only 19% failed English and 13% failed maths. (p20).

The flipped classroom is beneficial as it allows students to become aware of the lesson material before they arrive. Students may absorb more of the information watching a video or lecture at home in their own time. Teachers can spend more time in lessons helping students with what they don't understand rather than just teaching things off a powerpoint.

Benefits: 'Critical thinking by students.'
'Student ownership of learning.'
'Student exploration.'
'Faculty having time to assist students on things they couldn't learn by themselves.'
(All p21).

The flipped classroom has proven successful and beneficial in education, 'benefits to the students and faculty outweigh the time involved for creating this new learning environment.'

GAFFNEY,J.D.H., RICHARDS, E. & KUSTUSCH, M.B. et al. (2008) Scaling Up Education Reform. Journal of College Science Teaching p.18-23

Accessed From: 

The researchers firstly d(escribe the SCALE-UP method by using the analogy of a "restaurant"; Beichner (2008 p. 18) the students are sat around a round table discussing their subject which they are studying. From this they are waiting instruction from their course instructors "the waiters". This highlights the idea of the course instructor floating from table to table and asking them questions.  This particularly setting has proven to be more beneficial than that of a traditional learning environment.

The SCALE- UP Project has advantages including: 
  • Interaction
  • Motivation 
  • And is also being used in a diverse collection of subjects and institutions
According to Beichner (2008) the large tables are optimal for the students learning and that the space at which the students are apart will determine whether the learning in successful or not. In doing so it is essential that the students are close enough to work in dual partnership with each other but the tables should not be crowded as this is counter productive.

It is interesting that each student has a name tag and that they are given roles which are often changed for each activity presented. Beichner (2008) emphasises that in the SCALE-UP classroom all students are visible and "cannot hide" this forces someone with a shy disposition to also contribute and gain the full experience of the classroom.

This pedagogical approach to learning aids students in the production of new skills whether that be collaborative skills, problem solving and social communication. These skills are therefore also essential in later life and in the "real world". It is paramount that each student fulfils their specific role and completes the pre learning of online homework as it is the platform for the learning in the SCALE-UP classroom. Without this completion the group dynamics and work is effected so it therefore enables students to work as a team.

In addition, the impact which the SCALE- UP environment has on the student can only be beneficial for each student. Beichner (2008) emphasises the dramatic improvement of women and minority students in comparison to that of a traditional setting which the university previously used.