Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Flipped Class and Just-in-Time Teaching Assessments

A handful of my students (3 of 216, 1.4%) voiced issues about the weekly assessments that I use in my flipped class to support the assigned online lectures and readings. During the term, I send an assessment created in Google Forms that helps me measure the students' understanding of the assigned work for that week. The assessment is done the weekend prior to our use of the material in class, so I get an early sense of which students and how many students are prepared and, more importantly, which material and concepts students are struggling with. This allows me to adjust the in-class work to focus on the problematic material. Some students, though, had problems with the assessment form, such as which questions matched which activities (Change 9, 13, Drop 7) (3 of 27, 11.1%).

I've grouped these 3 complaints separately, but I think they really belong to the first group of complaints: coordinating the remote with the local. Students were having issues remembering to do the work out of class ahead of time to support what we would do in class the following week. I can see why. After all, students have been trained for more than twelve years to do just the opposite: do the work out of class after learning about it in class. I had to develop a more consistent schedule for delivering the assessments to students so that they could develop their own routines for completing them.

Also, the students did not always see the connections between the assigned readings and online lectures and the questions on the assessments. I addressed this confusion by including the name of the assigned work in the question. Sometimes, I even added a link to the assigned work for immediate access. I think this was simply a learning point for me. My students had to teach me to write better questions.

I'm grouping the final three complaints into one catch-all category. Two students (Change 1 & 6, 2 of 27, 7.4%, & 2 of 216, 0.93%) complained that the out-of-class work interfered with their work schedules. One student (Change 16) complained that the out-of-class work required too much effort, and one student (Drop 1) complained "I am more of a visual learning so flipped class didn't really help me much." I am confused by this last complaint. I am also somewhat mystified that only 1 student complained about the workload. Perhaps the work is not as labor intensive as I believe. I don't think I will up the ante, however.

So next, I'll consider the things about the flipped class that my students like.