Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Problems with Using Flipped Classroom a Programming Course

Hrafn Loftsson,
Reykjavik University
Greetings from Yogyakarta, at the IEEE TALE 2019 engineering education conference, where Hrafn Loftsson from Reykjavik University talked about "Using Flipped Classroom and Team-Based Learning in a First-Semester Programming Course". They replaced conventional lectures with videos and textbook readings, followed by classroom quizzes, and work on programming exercises, individually and in groups.
"Abstract— The use of the flipped classroom (FC) approach and team-based learning (TBL) has gained popularity in recent years by instructors in introductory programming courses (CS1), due to increased emphasis on student success and active learning. In this paper, we present an experience report about using FC and TBL in a CS1 course. We present the motivation for restructuring the course, the specific implementation, the results of two student surveys, and the outcome of several exams. We discuss the results, present what actions were taken during the course period, and what changes will be carried out in the future. The results from the surveys show that 47% of the students were pleased with the organization of the course, whereas up to 33% of the students were displeased (in particular the female students). About 60% of the students liked the TBL in class, but about half of the students felt that the course lacked traditional lecturing. Finally, it was surprising that 44% of the students never or seldom read the textbook before class, while 74% watched the videos."
 The results were surprising, in that students admitted they tended not to read the textbook (not surprisingly, they did watch the videos). Many students did not like the elimination of lectures (even though many students do not turn up when lectures are offered). The satisfaction level and completion rate was lower than previously. In response the externally sourced videos where replaced with ones featuring the instructor and shown at the start of each face-to-face session, and the number of programming exercises the students have to hand in was reduced. This restored the student satisfaction ratings, and the successfully completion rather also went up to around the university average.

At question time, I suggested that the in-class individual quizzes be administered before the face-to-face class, rather than during it. This is to encourage the student to read the materials provided and watch the video. In contrast another delegate suggested having the quiz at the next face-to-face class, to give the student more time.

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