Monthly Archives: June 2011

First look at the Results of the Flipped Class Pilot

My previous two posts (Dipping My Feet and Nuts and Bolts) dealt with my pilot this spring to introduce the flipped class model into my classroom. I won’t deal much with that topic here, except near the end where I’ll offer a bit more self-reflection on changes I still need to make for next year.

But basically, I’ve run a flipped class in ALL of my classes to end the spring term, even though I originally intended the pilot to only occur in one class. It seemed, in my mind, to be analogous to a drug trial where the new drug looks so promising that it’s unethical not to give everybody in the trial access to the medicine. OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But I’ve received a number of positive – and a few negative – responses from students. I’m hoping to prompt the students with negative responses a bit more to find out why they are not happy with the model. It’s possible they have valid suggestions for me to consider. It’s also possible that it simply isn’t something they’re comfortable with yet. And it’s possible I have no idea why they don’t like it.

My IB Chemistry class recently took a test on our Equilibrium unit, which was entirely flipped, with no in-class lecture at all. This is in stark contrast to my previous six units which all relied quite heavily on lecture to deliver new content. I have a small class and I simply won’t call out individual students. But here’s what I’m willing to share:

The class average on the equilibrium unit test was 4.6% higher than the class average on the previous seven tests.

Now let’s put this into perspective. First of all, I did not use any statistics here other than averages. My stats prof would not be happy with me. I simply don’t have the time to really put the data through the ringer here. So I won’t be telling you that the increase in scores is statistically significant. But I can tell you that there was NOT a statistically significant decrease in scores. How’s that for a definitive statement?!? This is a small sample size without being tested in a rigorous manner. But at the least, the students scored about the same.

So where does this leave me? I’ve got two weeks of school left. Most of this is preparation for finals. I already wish I had been flipped for the entire year, as I want to be able to tell my students to go back to the video tutorials if they need help. Of course, during class, before school and after school I’m still willing to help them. But the tutorials would give them another method of getting help.

And as I mentioned in my previous posts, I still think I can get more proactive in my wanderings around the class during ‘work time’ and help the students that need it. And for one of my last videos, my graphics tablet gave me trouble. That was a bit frustrating, as I was working a calculation and had to resort to writing with the mouse. Slow and not pretty.

Overall, though. I’m excited about the possibilities.

Until next time.
Lowell

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