FLIPPED TEACHING IN A COLLEGE ALGEBRA CLASSROOM – AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT Sean Moroney University of Hawaii at Manoa Dept. of Educational Technology ETEC 690 Master’s Project FLIPPED TEACHING • Before class, the student accesses online instructional material • The instructor then can move away from a traditional lecture style into a more free-form and interactive teaching style STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • When: January-February 2013 • Where: Two College Algebra classrooms in two different Colleges on Oahu, Hawai’i. STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • The College Algebra Classes: • Core curriculum courses • 10 weekly meetings • 4 hours each STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • The Students: • Mostly members of the military and their dependents • Most employed full-time • Many with family obligations • Many carrying more than one course STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • The Instructor: • An Adjunct Faculty Member of both Colleges • Many years of experience teaching these and other subjects in this type of environment • A candidate for the Master’s Degree in Educational technology STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • Why? • Instructor Observations: • Prevalent Math Anxiety • Math courses are postponed to end of program • Fatigue and Boredom • Disinterest in the subject STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY • Will changing the structure of the class change the learning? • Somehow, jazz up • the dynamics! LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY • The issue of grade improvement with altered teaching methods was not addressed • The study focused on: • How students responded to a changed teaching style • How the instructor perceived the change • How to design effective action research THEORY UNDERLYING THE STUDY • Educational theories indicate: • Learning is facilitated by: • bringing past knowledge together with new experience. • collaborative efforts, discussions, and interactions between learners. THEORY UNDERLYING THE STUDY • Past studies of flipped teaching have shown: • Its use effectively increases the amount of class time available • With the prior exposure to the new material, the instructor needs less time for didactic instruction APPLICATION OF THEORY TO THE STUDY • To provide prior knowledge on which to build, existing relevant instructional materials on the internet were identified • Other related materials were generated de novo APPLICATION OF THEORY TO THE STUDY • The students were told to review the internet materials before class • Teamwork on problems provided in class provided the necessary social interactions METHODS • In the Winter Quarter of 2013, two College Algebra classes offered by two different Colleges with the same Instructor were selected as the sites for this study METHODS • Both courses covered similar topics • The topic of radicals was selected for flipped teaching • The topics before and after radicals were covered using the traditional lecturing style. RADICALS METHODS • In each course, the subject of radicals was taught in two class sessions of 4 hours each. • The two classes are referred to as C1 and C2 METHODS • The C1 students attended a College that was 75% military and 25% civilian. • The C2 students attended a College that was 100% military. METHODS C1 and C2 - Gender 12 11 Female 10 9 Male 8 6 10 Female 7 Male 4 2 0 C1 C2 METHODS C1 and C2 - Age 12 11 C1 10 8 6 7 7 C2 C2 4 2 0 0 2 2 2 2 C2 C1 C1 C2 Under 20 21-30 31-40 41-50 METHODS C1 and C2 - Military Status 14 13 Not Active Military 12 10 12 Active Military 8 6 4 7 Not Active Military 5 Active Military 2 0 C1 C2 METHODS C1 and C2 - Previous Math Course 14 12 12 C1 10 8 6 4 7 C2 7 C2 4 C2 2 2 C1 0 0 < 1 year ago 1 – 4 years ago 2 C1 1 C1 1 C2 1 C1 5 – 8 years ago 9 – 15 years ago 15 - 20 years ago METHODS (C1+C2) Math Skills Weak Moderate 18 16 16 Strong 17 15 14 12 10 12 11 10 11 10 9 8 6 4 2 0 General Math Arithmetic Algebra METHODS • Instructional material was provided on Internet one week prior to class • Students accessed the material during that week • Class began with quiz to see whether material was accessed • Instructor did brief review of topic • Teams formed and did problems. METHODS • New York (CNN). At John F. Kennedy International Airport today, a Caucasian male (later discovered to be a high school mathematics teacher) was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor and a graphical calculator. • According to law enforcement officials, he is believed to have ties to the Al-Gebra network. He will be charged with carrying weapons of math instruction. METHODS • The Instructional Materials: • Links to Khan Academy videos on the weekly subject matter were provided via email • Links to Instructor-produced Powerpoint Movies on YouTube were also provided via email KHAN ACADEMY SCREENSHOT METHODS – YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT METHODS • In each of the two classes: • The students formed teams consisting of 3-4 members each. • In each class hour, a problem set was provided to the teams. • As these were completed, team members show their solutions on the whiteboard. • A more challenging problem for all wrapped up the hour. METHODS • This hourly cycle was done 3 times in each class. • The second of the two classes was handled in the same manner as the first. METHODS • In all of the classes, the instructor circulated and worked individually with the teams. • In the class following the second class, an anonymous survey was provided to the students. • Several students were interviewed to get personalized feedback. RESULTS • Did they follow instructions during the week before? • The first Quiz indicated that about 1/3 did the prior work. • The second Quiz indicated about 2/3 did the prior work. RESULTS (C1+C2) SELF-REPORT ON DOING PRIOR WORK 30 26 25 25 >50% Done >50% Done 20 15 10 10 10 <50% Done <50% Done 5 0 Traditional Class Flipped Class RESULTS 16 14 12 (C1+C2) PREFERENCE FOR TEACHING STYLE 15 14 Trad 12 Trad 15 Flip Flip 10 10 8 8 Flip Trad 6 4 2 0 Like Neutral Dislike RESULTS (C1+C2) EXPECTED MATH RETENTION > 1 YEAR Traditional Teaching 18 16 16 15 Flipped Teaching 17 14 12 11 10 9 8 6 6 4 2 0 Agree Neutral Disagree RESULTS (C1+C2) VALUATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL COMPONENTS Good 20 Neutral Poor 19 19 18 17 16 14 12 14 12 12 10 8 6 8 6 4 3 2 0 PowerPoint Movies Khan Academy Class Teamwork SURVEY COMMENTS • “I feel traditional and flip teaching go hand in hand.” • “Teaching both ways at the same time will help the students . . ., because everyone is familiar with assignment and subjects.” • “The flip teaching would be great for online students, but I prefer the traditional style.” INTERVIEW COMMENTS • “A good combination of the two. It gives a little change of pace and it doesn’t get very redundant. . . . this will get a little classroom interaction and helps you out.” • “Sometimes you have to go back the other way just to get that structure (traditional) and get the point out and then you could practice the other way.” SUMMARY OF COMMENTS • The Flipped Teaching didn’t earn rave reviews in this class. • Most of the comments leaned toward an integration of the Flipped Method with the Traditional Method. INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • The teams, with few exceptions, appeared to be strongly engaged in the problem-solving activities • There were a few unsolicited comments during the classes that the Flipped Method was enjoyable INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • Third-party materials, such as Khan Academy, have advantages in that they are already prepared and are accessible. • Stylistically, though, they may be at some variance with the content of the course and the instructor’s sequence of presentation. INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • Materials prepared by the instructor will have a greater congruence with the course content. • The instructor’s voice and delivery style can help the student relate to the material. INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • The PowerPoint videos used here were first-generation • It’s possible that refinements, based on use and feedback, could give rise to better and more effective products INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • In retrospect, a weakness of this project is that it was too short • The Flipped Teaching method used here should probably have begun from Day One of the course INSTRUCTOR OBSERVATIONS • Compliance with the requirements of previewing the course materials was a more major problem than was anticipated during the planning stages of the Project • Without the student previews, the class would have to default to a more traditional style of teaching to get the subject matter covered INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • Especially in the first Flipped class, the Instructor felt that the subject review was more of a first-time exposure INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS • While Flipped Teaching wasn’t apparently thought of as way better than the traditional style, the students seemed to enjoy and appreciate the variety • Some variation of the procedure here is in order for future studies of this type QUESTIONS? ???