Proposal Title

Flipped design for learning: Deepening scientific inquiry in a large-enrollment class

Session Type

Poster

Room

Atrium

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

flipped learning, scientific inquiry, content acquisition, computer simulations

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Hypothesis testing is central not only to the scientific method but also to understanding the nature of scientific knowledge. Although it is widely appreciated that students should develop hypothesis testing skills early in their undergraduate careers, there are many challenges in large-enrollment classes that can prevent them from deeply understanding the process of scientific inquiry. The hypothesis of this study is that a flipped-learning design will create a more effective environment than a traditional lecture format in which to foster both content acquisition and an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry. To measure the relative impact of these two approaches on learning, our study compares cohorts of students in different sections of the same large-enrollment course who have been exposed either to a flipped design (combining collaborative in-class activities with problem-based computer simulation software) or a lecture-based approach. The key principles underlying our research design as well as preliminary findings of pre- and post-assessment surveys measuring student understanding of scientific inquiry and basic content acquisition will be presented. An initial analysis of the data obtained from focus groups will also be discussed. Although the project is still at an early stage, preliminary data suggest that a combination of peer-learning in-class activities and problem-based computer simulation software foster both the acquisition of content and the development of scientific inquiry skills.

Elements of Engagement

Though the poster presentation, we would like to invite attendees to share their ideas and experiences with designing non-traditional learning activities to support the deep learning of higher-order thinking skills in their disciplines. We also would like to invite feedback from experienced peers on our project and study design.

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Jul 8th, 5:15 PM

Flipped design for learning: Deepening scientific inquiry in a large-enrollment class

Atrium

Hypothesis testing is central not only to the scientific method but also to understanding the nature of scientific knowledge. Although it is widely appreciated that students should develop hypothesis testing skills early in their undergraduate careers, there are many challenges in large-enrollment classes that can prevent them from deeply understanding the process of scientific inquiry. The hypothesis of this study is that a flipped-learning design will create a more effective environment than a traditional lecture format in which to foster both content acquisition and an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry. To measure the relative impact of these two approaches on learning, our study compares cohorts of students in different sections of the same large-enrollment course who have been exposed either to a flipped design (combining collaborative in-class activities with problem-based computer simulation software) or a lecture-based approach. The key principles underlying our research design as well as preliminary findings of pre- and post-assessment surveys measuring student understanding of scientific inquiry and basic content acquisition will be presented. An initial analysis of the data obtained from focus groups will also be discussed. Although the project is still at an early stage, preliminary data suggest that a combination of peer-learning in-class activities and problem-based computer simulation software foster both the acquisition of content and the development of scientific inquiry skills.