It’s been a few months since my last blog entry. Since several students found my blog and were reading my entries, I felt it was not appropriate to comment or reflect on the teaching and learning. Now since the semester is complete and grades are earned, it’s time for me to update my blog.
In a nutshell, I believe that this semester’s flipped classroom iteration was by far the most successful. The “success” can be quantified using overall class grades and also my perspective in terms of student attitudes and perceptions of the flipped classroom. Similar to the Spring 2014 semester, I did not label how I was teaching as the “flipped classroom”; I continued “Stealth Flipping”. However, since many of the Spring 14 students indicated that they did not take notes on the vodcasts, or simply did not know how to take notes, I implemented a structured note-taking template based upon the Cornell note-taking method. I also added “exam wrappers” which promoted reflection on student learning and preparation.
The addition of these two self-regulation tools seemed to have added to the success of the stealth flip structure. As you can see from the graph below, the overall course grades were higher over all 4 student categories.
Students who graduated in the top third of their high school class made the greatest gains in course success. The results from students graduating in the bottom third of their high school class is a bit misleading as there were only two of the seven students graduating in the bottom third of their HS class enrolled in General Chemistry who completed the course. One of these students earned an A, but had already earned a BS degree. The low retention of the bottom 1/3 students is ongoing regardless of the learning environment. However, it appears that the bottom 1/3 students withdraw earlier in the semester in a flipped classroom. Learning in a flipped classroom requires a great deal of self-regulated learning and many just don’t want to do the work.
Interestingly, the bottom 1/3 students were the ones who consistently did not submit in class problems or notes from the vodcasts. Nor did they take the online quizzes. Many of these students just came to class and seldom engaged in the learning process. Others did not even make it to class. As an instructor, this is very frustrating, but I can only do so much and ultimately the student needs to decide become vested in their learning.
Overall, the addition of SRL tools helped those students who graduated in the top and middle third of his or her graduating high school class. SRL tools also helped non-traditional students (or those in the “other” category). I plan to continue teaching students how to take notes and reflect on their learning. Hopefully many will see the advantages and continue to use SRL tools in all their classes.
My next blog will include student comments on the implementation of the Cornell Note-taking methods when viewing the vodcasts.