Well, the pilot quarter of technology-infused Stat 145 (under the heading “Too Many Students, Too Little Time”) is in the books and our official correspondence with Learning Technologies and the Impact Grant is over. I will save the tears and mournful recollections of all the good memories for my private blog, and will instead reflect upon what we learned and how we plan to move forward. After all, this pilot study is hopefully just the first step towards broader application of the HyFlex model across the university (want to know more about the HyFlex model?).
While obtaining student feedback was a priority for the whole fall quarter, our most valuable feedback came through an end-of-term survey. We asked our students about thirty questions and solicited their responses on a Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree). Most of the questions revolved around the technology we used in the course, including both the technologies we’ve used before (Carmen, MyStatLab) and the new “instructional technologies” we implemented throughout the term (instructional technology was defined to be any combination of tablet-based slides in PowerPoint, statistical applets, Poll Everywhere, and Adobe Connect).
A total of 77 students (about 50% of the class) responded to the survey, and the feedback was encouraging. In general, students found the instructional technologies we incorporated easy to use and helpful to their learning. For example, 80% of students either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that it was easy to access the online lectures through Adobe Connect (another 12% marked “not applicable”) and approximately 95% “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that instructional technology made the course materials more interesting and increased understanding of the course concepts. Here are a few more results:
Two of our questions included a space for comments, and students seemed eager to tell us what they thought of the new curriculum. Jackie Miller and I had to laugh because many comments sounded scripted, but what follows is actual student feedback (we promise!):
- “On days with bad weather, I could still attend lecture…instead of being miserable trekking across a cold, wet campus.”
- “I enjoyed the use of Adobe Connect and the other technologies. I think these should be used in other classes as well.”
- “The technology made the class very convenient for a busy college student lifestyle and…(sic) way better.”
- “I really loved how if I didn’t understand a lecture, I could just go back and re-watch the lecture since they are all online. … I also enjoyed being able to watch class on my laptop sitting in my bedroom with a cup of coffee, in my pajamas. I learn better when I am comfortable, especially with morning classes.”
- “It was a hard course, but ‘instructional technology’ really made the class more manageable.”
- “Adobe Connect was a great alternative to going to class and was still extremely beneficial to my statistics education.”
- “The online technology really helped to aid my learning process.”
- “I would recommend this course to another student … based on the instructional technology alone.”
And so on. Of course, there were negative remarks as well:
- “The online recordings…made it too easy to skip class.”
- “There were many occasions in which we had to stop class to address problems with Adobe Connect, etc. This was extremely distracting and I did not have the patience for it.”
- “This course did not fit my needs and learning style.”
- “The lecture review quizzes…[were] major overkill on the topics and I think it was a waste of time.”
I was pleasantly surprised to read that students were utilizing the recorded lectures as a review tool; this is something we hoped would occur but were not able to measure. Additionally, students responded quite positively towards having options for attending lecture: the words “convenient,” “easy,” and “helpful” showed up a total of 39 times, and many students echoed the above sentiments about this course fitting well with a busy “college schedule.” And, of course, we were extremely pleased to read that the instructional technology even improved several students’ educational experience.
All of these comments were taken into consideration as Jackie and I planned for the winter term of Stat 145, during which we will be keeping the same curriculum and HyFlex classroom model while continuing to improve our methods. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, we have officially noted in the syllabus that lecture review will be eliminated from recitation. Despite its drawbacks and limitations, we’ll be sticking with Adobe Connect, for now, and the same with Poll Everywhere: both seem to be the best options with respect to accessibility and cost. We’ve shuffled around a few things with the grading scheme: the daily lecture review quizzes are now worth 5% of the final grade (up from 3%) and will be graded for accuracy, not just completion.
Finally, we are embarking on an entirely new endeavor on this, our second take of the new Stat 145: incorporation of a tool called Piazza. I’ll discuss Piazza and why we’re excited to use it in an upcoming blog.
Here’s to the last winter quarter at Ohio State University, ever! (Maybe…)