Tag Archives: Self-regulated learning

Strategies for Students who “Don’t watch the videos” #FlipClass

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.

ClassRank vs Grades


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.

Self-Regulation Tools and the #Flipclass

The first test in General Chemistry has been graded.  The test assessed similar topics to the first test from the Spring 2014 semester except for the addition of naming.  The overall average from the Spring 2014 class was a 60%.  The Fall 2014 class average on Test 1 is a 76%.  Unbelievable!  However, I prefer not to look at overall class averages because the student population changes each semester.  Examining the student average in terms of High School Class rank (top 1/3, middle 1/3, and bottom 1/3) gives a better indication of achievement/success in different learning environments.

Here’s a look at the data:

Class Rank Fall 2014 Test 1 Average Spring 2014 Test 1 Average
1 89.4 68.4
2 71.5 58.25
3 49.8 49.25
Not Given/GED 76.4 61.1

The highest achieving students (top 1/3 of their graduating high school class) in the Fall 2014 class were almost 20% more successful on Test 1 than in the Spring 2014 class.  The middle achievers (middle 1/3 of their graduating HS class) were 23% in the Fall 2014 class more successful on Test 1 than in the Spring 2014 class.  Students whose class rank were not given (mostly non-traditional students) were 15% more successful this semester.  Interestingly, those students graduating in the bottom 1/3 of their high school class were not more or less successful this semester versus in the Spring 2014 semester.

What is different?
I believe asking students to take notes using the Cornell Note-taking method is the main reason students are much more successful in this semester’s flipped class.  From past observations and student comments, many students did not take notes, or did not know how to take good notes, or simply did not watch the vodcasts.

Another difference is that students are working in groups of four in class with tables in a square arrangement.  In past iterations of the flipped class, the learning space was in rows.  This group arrangement is conducive to peer instruction. I am also encouraging them to teach each other by showing data that indicates deeper learning when students explain concepts and help each other with problem solving.  Many of my students are making a conscientious effort to teach each other.  As a result, the students have formed a learning community with me as the facilitator.  The learning community is positive because there are mature students in this class who take responsibility for their learning.

What to do with the lowest achieving student?

Students graduating in the bottom third of their high school class show no difference in achievement in a flipped class with implemented self-regulation tools.  Ironically, these students have not submitted their Cornell notes.  Even with the self-regulation tools as a requirement, positive classroom environment, and peer instruction, students with little motivation in high school are not likely to change their habits or self-efficacy in college.  Not surprising.

The flipped classroom with Cornell Notes promotes a significantly higher level of success amongst higher achievers (students graduating in the top and middle third of their high school class).  Overall, the implementation of Cornell notes and group learning space has increased the Test 1 average by 16%.  I deem this a success!!




#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.