Advance Preparation or Active Learning?

I have been teaching a flipped classroom for almost two years now, and a colleague teaches the same course, very similar structure but with traditional lectures.

There is significant evidence for the benefits of flipped classrooms, but a colleague at SFU found no improvement in a previous study comparing a semi-flipped approach (advance preparation, but no major changes to the in-class teaching) to a traditional lecture. We are interested in seeing how important the active learning components (that should fill classroom time in a flipped class) are compared to video lectures only.

To that end, after collecting baseline data this semester and next, my colleague will ask her students to watch my videos in advance, then teach in-class material the same way (traditional lecture and lab) as usual, while I will teach with increased active learning components in a fully flipped setting.

We will assess learning in four separate units using published concept inventories before and after each unit. A trained observer will determine the amount of time spent on active learning using established protocol (COPUS) and student experience will be gathered in end of semester focus groups.

We’re just starting, but I hope to update on results here and/or have a publication to share down the road.


The work is supported by a Teaching and Learning Development Grant from SFU


One thought on “Advance Preparation or Active Learning?

  1. Pingback: PIDP so far | "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel"

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