Cédric Delporte, Pierre Van Antwerpen, and Anaëlle Vanden Dael (ULB) studied podcasts and the flipped classroom, to help promote individualized learning as part of a heterogeneous scientific course.
This research describes the organisation of flipped classrooms and the creation of pedagogic tools (podcast, virtual platform, quiz) in the context of a scientific lecture, attended by students from different faculties and different levels.
First, let us mention the fact that flipped classrooms that were given to students turned out to be innovative, for both them and the teachers who discovered this new pedagogical approach. This experience allowed the teachers to solve problems they had previously encountered using traditional teaching approaches. Needless to say, the experiment was considered fruitful.
In addition, it illustrated the interest of students to attend other lectures that were organized using the same model. In general, the evaluation of this system showed encouraging and promising results.
The article also describes a case study involving the **** interactive platform, Wooclap, and the results of using such a tool in a flipped classroom.
First and foremost, this study tries to understand why we are changing the traditional way of teaching.
Today, teachers face a myriad of limitations regarding the traditional way of teaching. For example, there is the issue of the limited number of hours to see the whole course content, the difficult access to equipment, and the lack of motivation among students, which causes a drop in class attendance and student satisfaction.
To the question, “Why would teachers implement the reverse class system?”, our three researchers replied:
- To increase motivation among students
- To help structure the personal work of students
- To leverage existing tools at the Université Libre de Bruxelles
Now, how did the analysts implement the concept of reverse class systems in their existing way of teaching, and how did they measure the impact?
Framework and structure
Before 2015, teaching was done through ex-cathedra lessons. The students had to practice at home by completing exercises, after which they were assessed on the content learned, during exams sessions at the end of a specific period.
Around 2015–16, the teachers decided to use a new method of teaching, called blended learning. This meant that the course content was given to the students through articles and videos to be studied at home, while exercises were made during class with the help of a collaborative tech solution, **** Wooclap.
The results of this first experience were poor, due to the fact that, while asking 40 to 50 questions per class, the explanation given by the teachers surrounding those questions was insufficient. There were too many questions, which prompted a drop in student participation, and a consequent lack of understanding appearing increasingly across time. This showed that, if poorly implemented, the use of blended learning would yield results similar to the traditional method of teaching.
From 2016 to 2017, the teachers decided to try the blended learning method again, by making the course content available to students online. The difference this time was that in class, they never asked more than a dozen questions, and all of those pertained to the topics students had the most difficulty with. First, the teachers asked their students to take a test after reading an article or watching a video at home. Then, they took the time to elaborate on certain concepts and check the knowledge / understanding of their students, by using the classroom response system that is Wooclap.
Reviewing every last bit of theory in class is not just time consuming, but also quite useless. Following the implementation of blended learning, the analysis showed a sharp increase in student performances on the short and long term. In the short term, the average grade jumped from 11⁄20 to 13⁄20 with the change in teaching methods, and the memory performances in the long run seemed to increase as well. In addition, students’ satisfaction and attendance rates improved over both the short and longer term.
Blended learning improves the efficiency of both learning and teaching. Applying this new educational method is beneficial for students and teachers alike, but what matters most is to optimize the use of blended learning, and thanks to the teachers responsible for this study, we now know how to better use this educational method.