Do Adaptive Lessons for Pre-class Experience Improve Flipped Learning?

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Conference Proceeding

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In a meta-study [1] of STEM courses, use of active learning over traditional lecturing indicates an increase of 0.47SDs on examinations and concept inventories. One pedagogy that uses active learning is the flipped format where the initial exposure to the content is made outside of the classroom via videos, text, online discussion, and assessment. During class time, active learning techniques such as peer-to-peer instruction and solving of applied problems are used.

In a prior NSF grant involving a combined dataset from three engineering schools [2], the authors found that the differences in the cognitive and affective outcomes for blended and flipped formats of a course in Numerical Methods were not statistically significant [3]. The effect sizes measured via Cohen’s d also were negligible to small for these two outcomes. One of the challenges recognized by many with the flipped format is the pre-class expectations for the students. Currently for pre-class learning, in most flipped format classes, teachers assign lecture videos or reading assignments. To ensure that such assignments are done by students, they are either followed by a quiz that is taken online or at the beginning of the class period. However, this approach is the same for all students and does not address the differential needs of the students.

To improve the quality of the pre-class activities of the flipped format, under a current NSF grant [4], the second author developed adaptive platform lessons for the pre-class experience for a course in Numerical Methods. By doing so, students have a personalized path for preparation that involves multiple representations such as lecture videos, text, and simulations. The students’ learning is assessed in real time and depending on their responses, they are taken on alternate paths in the lesson.

We implemented these adaptive pre-class lessons in the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters and will report preliminary results from the Fall 2017 semester in the draft paper. The results will compare three modalities – 1) blended format 2) flipped format without adaptive lessons and 3) flipped format with adaptive lessons. The comparisons will be based on direct assessments of learning (i.e., final examination and concept inventory scores), as well as indirect assessments (i.e., student surveys and focus groups). Open-ended, qualitative data from the indirect assessments will be analyzed in a structured manner using content analysis techniques.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition