STARTING TO FLIP THE CLASS: QUALITY OF STUDENT’S PRE-CLASS WORK IMPROVES WITH THE USE OF ONLINE JUST-IN TIME TEACHING METHODS
As an incentive for students to better prepare for lecture, instructors in introductory geology classes at North Carolina State University have implemented a partially flipped class structure using daily pre-class learning journals (LJs). Students responded to entries that included a variety of forms of questions focused on concepts from assigned reading. Initially LJs were completed on a hardcopy (paper) and intermittently collected and graded. This format was similar to a homework assignment with students responsible for keeping pace with the syllabus. The second half of the study shifted to an online version where the LJs were submitted and graded the evening before each lecture, similar to Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) model.
Data was collected from students (N=189) over the span of four semesters. The sampling frame from each semester was stratified according to students’ end of semester grade. Students were randomly selected from those who earned an A, B, or C. A three-part rubric (i.e. articulation, appropriate content, and accurate explanation) was developed to evaluate the quality of short answers. Average rubric scores for the online LJs were higher than those completed on hardcopy. Three of four questions selected for assessment showed statistically significant improvement in the online format. The average number of words written online was significantly higher for all questions (p≤0.001). Students wrote approximately 50% more words when completing LJs with the online version. Linear regression between number of words and score indicated moderate correlation (r2=0.21, p< 0.001). Findings support the use of structured pre-class activities through the use of an online classroom management tool as an effective way to better prepare students for lecture.