#Flipclass #Increased test scores… for some

Last week’s test in a flipped forensics class resulted in an increase in student success by about 4% compared to a similar test administered to students after delivering the content via a traditional lecture.  I was very surprised by the significant increase in student exam scores and found that the flipped classroom approach increased the number of As and Bs earned on Test 2.

As you can see from the grade distribution, a greater percentage of students earned a B or higher on test 2.  (18% in the lecture and 24% in the flipped classroom) I consider this a significant increase especially since about 5 flipped class students came to take the test unprepared.  (They claim they did not know there was an exam…. it was on the News feed and LMS calendar).

However, I also notice that many students still come to the in class meetings completely unprepared.  They do not take notes on the vodcast claiming they do not have time to watch them.  They do not listen when I review the content at the beginning of class which, in conjunction with not viewing the podcasts, results in poor vodcast quiz grades.  Some students do nothing outside of class.

I realize that some students in the lecture class also did nothing outside of class, but these students could “hide” and it not be so obvious to me and their classmates that they did nothing.  As a result of this apparent lack of outside work, I am more frustrated with the obvious lack of motivation to learn not just the content, but anything.  Most blame hectic work schedules for the inability to do anything, but I think it’s just an amotivation towards learning.  They want a degree for minimum to no effort.

The recent article in the Chronicle, ‘Flipping’ Classrooms May Not Make Much Difference reflects what I am also finding in my flipped classroom:  The flipped classroom is not helping all students and is not the “silver bullet” for education.  However, it is improving the learning skills of some students.

The flipped classroom is a wonderful learning environment for the motivated, self-regulated learner.  It allows for deeper learning for these motivated students at the expense of the amotivated students.  Will any learning environment meet the needs of an amotivated student?  Are college faculty to teach to the middle so that no college student is left behind as our K-12 colleagues have to teach?  Personally, I want to teach students to learn to love to learn.  Giving them skills that enhance self-regulated learning is foundational for life-long learners.  It is really up to the student to decide whether he or she wants these skills.


3 thoughts on “#Flipclass #Increased test scores… for some

  1. Rob Jackson

    Very interesting. I’m thinking of introducing some flipping into my chemistry (and possibly forensics) teaching, and it’s interesting to read of your experiences with this.

    1. kellybutzler Post author

      Thanks for commenting. The flipped classroom appears to NOT hurt my students in terms of success. They are equally successful in the didactic and flipped classroom. From my preliminary data, my more academically prepared/more intrinsically motivated students are doing better. My less prepared/less motivated students are performing equal or lower in the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom seems to have widened the range of grades. So as you think about flipping, I would consider the student population in your classes. If you have to do a lot of “hand holding” in the traditional lecture, you will have to do even more in the flipped. (and it gives them something on which to blame their poor performance)

  2. Pingback: The flipped classroom – thoughts of a late arrival | Rob Jackson's Blog

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