Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flipping the classroom in business and education one-shot sessions: a research study

Next discussion: Thursday 30th March at 8pm UK time (3pm EST).
Article:Flipping the classroom in business and education one-shot sessions: a research study. Madeline E. Cohen, Jennifer Poggiali, Alison Lehner-Quam, Robin Wright, Rebecca K. West. Journal of Information Literacy, 2016, 10(2), pp. 40-63 http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.2.2127

Thank you to Madeline, Alison, and Robin for their article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion.

Bios of Discussants:
  • Madeline Cohen is Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at Lehman College, CUNY. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to business management courses.Email: Madeline.cohen@lehman.cuny.edu
  • Alison Lehner-Quam, Assistant Professor and Education Librarian, Lehman College, New York. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to undergraduate and graduate education courses. Email: alison.lehnerquam@lehman.cuny.edu. 
  • Robin Wright, Assistant Professor and Health and Human Services Librarian, Lehman College, New York. She has taught flipped information literacy instruction to health and human services courses. Email: robin.wright@lehman.cuny.edu.
How does this discussion work?
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

Library faculty at Lehman College, City University of New York, experimented with the flipped classroom model in an attempt to maximize the effectiveness of one-off information literacy sessions. As most academic librarians know, these one-shot sessions are often too short and assessment of student learning is challenging in such a short period of time. We saw students coming to the reference desk with basic questions after an information literacy class, even though that material had been covered in class.

We began to wonder about other strategies that would help us be more effective. We saw articles about the flipped classroom model, which incorporates pre-assignments and active learning, in the education literature, in blog posts, and at conferences. We were intrigued to try it as most of our information literacy sessions are limited to one-shot experiences.

We began working collaboratively when the Instructional Technology librarian sent an email to all library faculty to see if any of us were interested in participating in trying out the flipped model. Specialist librarians in education, business, and health and human services responded to the call. After a semester of experimentation, we decided to assess the impact of the model and to study it more formally, and so our research project developed. For the purposes of our research we focused on business and education, but the Health and Human Services librarian has been steadily using the flipped classroom model since our initial interest in the model.

We wanted to measure the effectiveness of the flipped classroom in the context of disciplinary one-shot information literacy sessions. We conducted a multi-semester study of flipped library instruction for business management and education courses. We hoped to gather information that would help us learn the following:

  • Do students in a flipped session demonstrate greater knowledge before their session than the students in a control session?
  • Do flipped and control students demonstrate significant, positive improvement in knowledge after their session?

These questions were explored through a quasi-experimental research design that included pre- and post-testing of flipped and control classes. Research was conducted over three semesters.

This was our first experience in quasi-experimental research design, so, in addition to learning about student response to the flipped classroom model in information literacy, we learned about research group composition, size of control and experimental cohorts, and random participant selection. As colleagues working on a multi-semester project we also learned from each other about ways to keep faculty engaged and to maximize student involvement.

The hypothesis that students in the flipped classes would score significantly higher on the pre-test compared to the control session was upheld by the scores of the business classes. These results were notable for a number of reasons. Most crucially, they indicate that students entered the flipped class with greater mastery of basic concepts than the control group. Students in the flipped sections of the education classes earned a mean score on the pre-test that was better than that of the control class, but this difference was not statistically significant. Perhaps a larger sample size may have erased or solidified this difference.

For our blog conversation, we thought the following questions might start our discussion:
  • Would you be motivated to try and to study a flipped model in your information literacy classes?
  • What subject disciplines might lend themselves to a flipped classroom model?
  • This model requires commitment from academic faculty. What can be done to encourage academic and library faculty partnerships and collaborations?
  • Based on the study, what could be next steps with homework and class assignment design being mindful of lower order and higher order thinking skills?
We can also respond to questions about lesson planning, homework and assignment design, in-class activities, and assessment measures as well as research design and next steps.

References

Arnold-Garza, S. 2014. The flipped classroom teaching model. Communications in Information Literacy [Online] 8(1), pp. 7–21. Available at: http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v8i1p7  [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Datig, I. and Ruswick, C. 2013. Four quick flips: Activities for the information literacy classroom. College and Research Libraries News [Online] 74(5), pp. 249–257. Available at: http://crln.acrl.org/content/74/5/249.full [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Gibes, E. A. and James, H. 2015. Is flipping enough? A mixed approach to introductory information literacy instruction. College and Research Libraries News [Online] 76(1), pp. 10–13. Available at: http://crln.acrl.org/content/76/1/10.short [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Goetz, J. E. and Barber, C. R. 2015. Evaluating a pre-session homework exercise in a standalone information literacy class. Communications in Information Literacy [Online] 9(2), pp.176–185. Available at: http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=v9i2p176&path%5B%5D=220  [Accessed: 25 July 2016].

Rivera, E. 2015. Using the flipped classroom model in your library instruction course. The Reference Librarian 56(1), pp. 34–41. http://doi.org/10.1080/02763877.2015.977671

96 comments:

  1. Welcome to today's discussion, which will be kicking off in 50 minutes! As you arrive, please introduce yourselves by replying directly to this comment.

    My intro: I'm David, I manage the Learning Centre at Cornwall College Newquay and am one of the organisers of this discussion group.

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    1. Hi everyone, I'm Robin Vickery (another Robin). I'm the Business Librarian at Salisbury University in Maryland.

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    2. Hello Robin. Welcome to this conversation.

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  2. Hello everyone--Madeline Cohen is here and ready for your Comments and questions.

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    1. Hello and welcome Madeline. We will be starting shortly.

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    2. Hi everyone, I'm another of the organisers of this group and I work with STEM libraries in Cambridge. Looking forward to the discussion!

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  3. Hello. I'm Alison, Education Librarian at Lehman College. I'm looking forward to our conversation today.

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    1. Hello Alison. It is nearly time and I too am looking forward to the conversation.

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  4. Hello! I'm Emily Reed, Instruction & Reference Librarian at Central Penn College in central PA.

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    1. Hello Emily and Welcome to the conversation.

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  5. Hello Everyone, I'm Robin, one of the co-author's on the Flipping the classrooms article

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    1. Hello Robin. Welcome. Glad you could join us.

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    2. Thank you all for joining us, it's a great topic!

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  6. Well it has just gone 8. Does anyone have a comment to make or question to ask?

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  7. Alison: Have any of you used the flipped method in your teaching?

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    1. I have thought about it but rarely used it, as yet, have had the opportunity to get the pre class work prepared as teaching staff give me little or no warning.

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    2. It's something I've wanted to offer for a while but need to make time to prepare the pre-session bit. Any tips would be great

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    3. I plan to use the long summer break to explore and develop some online pre-class work as I now know which topics staff wan their students to learn. This will be my third year in this post.

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    4. Yes, we use it a bit in our Business Intelligence class and in our Information Literacy class (within on campus students) and also we have a distance learning programme, and so most of that is asynchronous. The Business Intelligence class has a company report as one of its assignments, and our library subscribes to Nexis (I think not the entire news base) so it covers some similar territory to your class

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    5. Robin Vickery: I'm only just starting my role as a Business Librarian, but it sounds like a really intriguing idea. My one concern would be how to entice the students to actually complete the pre-class work, and how to get the professor on board. Are any of you embedded in an online environment for courses, like Canvas or Blackboard? That seems like it would be the best way to approach the pre-class work...

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    6. If the pre-class material is on the VLE, it can be set to check who has undertaken the activity and uploaded the assignment.

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    7. yes, we embedded the libGuide with the assignment in BlackBoard: http://libguides.lehman.edu/BBA204assignment
      Also, we visited the class the week before the assignment was due to explain the assignment and incentivize a bit. The course instructor told the students that submitting the assignment would count towards their participation grad--so it was not optional.

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    8. so visit to the class before the actual session is important and allows the pre-class work to be introduced.

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    9. Absolutely. We found this to be essential.

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    10. Robin V: Got it, I remember reading that. We generally ask faculty to give us at least a 2 week notice for instruction, so theoretically it's not impossible to pop in 1 week before. Once I know more faculty and understand who is more receptive than others (especially re: participation and outside work), it may be easier to implement.

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    11. I have looked at the assignment and this has got me thinking. Thank you.

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    12. Alison: I agree with you, Robin. Relationships are key making this work, as the faculty can support the process, such as reminding students about the homework prior to class.

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  8. I have been thinking about disciplines that support flipped classroom. I work at a college that teaches zoology, ecology and conservation. I think a flipped model could support these disciplines because of the scientific method. It was interesting that your research focused on business and nursing, two professional subjects.

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  9. Hello - sorry I've arrived a bit late! I'm Sheila webber and I am a faculty member in the University of Sheffield Information School, UK

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    1. Hello Sheila, We have only just started.

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  10. This is Robin: I piloted the flipped method with our Graduate Public Health classes here at Lehman at the beginning of our experiment with flipped classrooms. I have been using it steadily this semester with all my classes in Health Sciences, and Nursing.

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    1. @Robin: Do you have any tips that could get me started on developing some engaging pre-class work forms Foundation degree zoology learners?

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    2. Not specifically re Zoology, but a key thing for us is incentivising the students to actually do the "homework". Apart from explaining why they are relevant to the assignments and the clas, things like setting questions they need to address in class, or explaining how practical exercises will build on them. I also try and make itreally easy for the students to find them - email a link to the video (which will also embed it, so they just have to click), I prefer also to put the current video on the front page of the module in Blackboard, and also embed it in the page for that week etc. Sometimes we tweet the link too as there is a class hashtag.

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    3. This is a something I worry about - do you have a feel for how many people do the pre-learning?

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    4. Sheila--we posted this LibGuide with the assignment and link to the video on BlackBoard:
      http://libguides.lehman.edu/BBA204assignment

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    5. @Niamh, it varies depending on the cohort. With some cohorts, I know that they will be motivated to complete activities between classes (e.g. there is one where they have to contribute to a Google Doc to give their own tips for searching google, and then we work on that list in class to examine the tips etc.) but with another cohort, I would know that a minority might be that proactive, so I'd have to introduce more incentives (e.g. they know that each person is going to have to contribute an idea or question, or they do something where you can tell who has done it, and they know we're monitoribng). Also I always plan for how I can ensure that even those who haven't done it are able to do SOMETHING in class, but without annoying the people who did do the homework (don't want them to feel - why did we bother)

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    6. When I say "cohort", although every class is distictive every year, you do get a feel for the characteristics of students who tend to take module X or Y, I would imagine that the faculty who normally teach a class would similarly have a feel, if it was a class you hadn't engaged with before

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    7. In our article, you will see that we had a very high rate of completion of the pre-assignment. This is due to the preparation we gave the students, I believe, and the faculty buy-in by making the assignment part of the students' grades.

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    8. That's interesting, thank you both.

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  11. Alison: At Lehman we have focused on business, education, and the health sciences, but when flipped instruction started with Bergmann and Sams, it started in HS science classes.

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    1. @Alison, what I am looking for is some tips to develop pre-class material.

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    2. Alison: Hi, David. This section of the resource guide has some tips on how to develop the pre-class material: http://libguides.lehman.edu/c.php?g=457910&p=3129827
      For my classes I thought about what work could be done at home and involved lower order thinking skills such as remembering and understanding (watching a video on inquiry and identifying areas of their research topics on which they'd like to research). I then had students begin to try out searches--and then analyze them--which moved them into higher order thinking skills. As I think about revising my assignment, I may remove some of the higher order thinking activities. These kinds of activities could be done in the classroom.

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    3. @Alison. Thanks for this. I will be developing some preclass material with more confidence now.

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  12. Madeline: I am sending a link to Flipped Resources that might be helpful: http://libguides.lehman.edu/flipped_classroom

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    1. This link will be helpful. i will also look later.

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    2. That's hugely helpful, think I'll be spending quite a lot of time on that libguide!

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    3. Robin Vickery: This looks great, thanks for sharing!

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  13. In response to David's comment about the scientific method, I think the flipped classroom works well with structured curriculm or task-based skills.

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    1. @Madeline That is helpful. What specific tasks would you set for the pre-class session?

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    2. David-- it really depends on the subject. Perhaps you could have the students read a text or look at a database and then answer questions or write a short paragraph responding to a prompt.

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    3. @Madeline. The tasks staff want me to cover include: referencing, searching and critical reading.

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    4. The Business Assignment video is 7 minutes.

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    5. wow @David, that's a lot to cover (I'm thinking how long it takes to help some students read critically ....)

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    6. There are short videos that you could adapt on critical thinking, citation,inquiry, keyword searching, selecting a topic, etc.
      You could give the students a worksheet on which they write down their topic and keywords reflecting sub-topics they wish to explore.
      Then you could give the students links to one or two databases and ask them to try their search.

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  14. Alison: With my first class I developed one videos using Camtasia. This proved to be too much content for the homework assignment. For the research study, I only used one video--which focused on inquiry. This short tape has been helpful for all of the sessions that I've done. So, it does require work up front, but the investment at the beginning is lasting.

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    1. @Alison. How long is a short tape? What do your learners have to do as an assignment after watching the tape?

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    2. Alison: The video is about 4 minutes long and introduces the idea of inquiry. https://youtu.be/FkiW-1ph588
      After watching the video participants began working on their own research questions using the inquiry model. They analyzed their topics, and then began trying out some searches.

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    3. Robin: I use 4 short videos with my classes; all four can be viewed in 10 minutes; they average a little over 2 minutes.

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    4. Robin: You can see a sample library assignment here on my Advanced Nutrition Research Guide: http://libguides.lehman.edu/dfn445
      The Library Assignment page includes the videos, instructions and worksheet

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  15. It sounds like you were already setting assignments for these students so it was just a case of moving when the homework got done, is that correct? Or are the assignments e.g. the annotated bibliographies set by subject faculty?

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    1. For the one-shot information literacy classes, we (librarians) developed the pre-assignment (homework) and the in-class activities. These are supplemental to any assignments that the course instructor gave.
      Here is a link to the LibGuide that has worksheets for the Business Class:
      http://libguides.lehman.edu/BBA407

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  16. David--in regard to creating pre-assignments--the best practices are to select a lower-level learning objective (Bloom's Taxonomy) that is a fundamental learning goal. Something that would precede the higher-level concepts that you will teach in class. If the assignment worksheet can accomplish this, then students start at a higher level.

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    1. Thanks Madeline, that is very helpful and useful. So the pre-class cover lower order thinking and frees up the session for more interesting higher levels. Definitely going to explore this in the summer break.

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    2. Yes. You could read some of the articles on flipped on the LibGuide that I sent.

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    3. I will do. already opened a tab for later.

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  17. Alison: In my case, the professors assigned annotated bibliographies as part of their curriculum. I supported the assignment with instruction on the inquiry process, search strategies, and analysis.

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    1. That's helpful, thanks. The course I had i n mind for trying with this is a skills course for PhD students and doesn't usually involve homework so I'll need to think about how to introduce this.

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    2. @Niamh you could tie it into the work they are already doing, presumably they will have to be examining the literature? I don't know what stage it's at, but at Sheffield PhD students have to submit a confirmation review report of about 10K words after 11 months, so here that might be a focus.

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    3. Yes, they do a first year report, but students doing different types of work seem to tackle the literature at different stages in the year, not necessarily around the time of our timetabled sessions. One of my team has been embedded in a research group for the last few months so that will be hugely helpful for comparing needs at this stage of the year with how we do our classes.

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    4. @Niamh when I've got students I know are at different stages of skill/understanding I usually have some kind of self-audit activity to get them reflecting on where they are now and what they need to do next - then part of the class would be sharing that (sorry this is probably really obvious stuff)

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    5. That's a great way to do it. We do that a little in terms of talking through how defined their research questions are and the sessions are often very early in their course, but I'm sure there will be things we can use this for.

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  18. In general, for information literacy one-shot classes, you want to make the assignments short and focused on one topic or skill. Short videos or powerpoints or short texts to read. Then, you want to ask the students to respond to what they read, or answer some questions. Some software will allow you to embed questions in a video to make it interactive.

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  19. I was interested to see that the one-shot attendees actually outperformed the ones who did the flipped classes. Do you think that's down to the nature of what you were testing? Do you feel it was worth the time invested in developing the pre-course content? Do you have any feel for whether one type of learning "stuck" for longer than the other? (Sorry, three questions but they flow from each other!)

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    1. We analyzed why the control group did as well as the flipped group in business on the post-test (even though they did not score as well on the pre-test at the beginning of class). This could be for several reasons: one is that lecture is also a good way of teaching and the control group got up to the level of the flipped group by the end of the class. Second, we could have or should have raised the level of content in the flipped class to take advantage of the jump-start that these students had from the assignment.

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    2. Yes, I saw that, but if you were doing another course would you invest the time in developing pre-course material given that the outcome was so similar? Or do you think other reasons make it worth it anyway e.g. maybe students are more likely to remember material that's been delivered in the flipped way?

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    3. I think one thing is that, for example if you are creating short videos, you might be using them for flipped learning one wek, but they can be there are resources for the whole class, especially if they are easy to find and perhaps you remind students they are there (e.g. if you start getting questions about something, and viewing the video again would be one way for the student to catch up).

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    4. @Madeline, So will you raise the bar and capitalise on the pre-knowledge and better preparedness of the flipped group?

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    5. That's true, thanks Sheila. I also like it as a way of having material available for students to look over again if they need to.

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    6. Yes--that is the goal. I think we proved with our research that the assignment brings the students in at higher level--or at least ready to absorb higher-level concepts. We need to capitalize on this and not be afraid that we haven't covered the basics in the face-to-face class.

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    7. @Madeline I like that the pre-class assignment covers logging into to Lexis-Nexis. It avoids time wasting in the class as everyone knows how to log in.

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    8. That's exactly right, Sheila. The inquiry video that I created for flipped classes has been used by other faculty in instructional sessions.

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    9. Sheila and Niamh-- You both make good points. I feel it is definitely worth the time to create homework assignments--with or without videos. The students benefit from having these materials to refer to again. Here is the LibGuide we created with Video Tutorials for Business:
      http://libguides.lehman.edu/bustutorialsbscdatabase
      When we are able to have a follow-up class, I have given students additional assignments so that they can learn some databases on their own, and then we can focus on their questions in the follow-up class.

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    10. The links mean I have access to plenty of material to help me develop some flipped learning.

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  20. Please do keep the discussion going, but as it's nearing 9pm I'd like to thank you all once again for joining the discussion, and especially thank Madeline, Alison and Robin for taking the time to share their research with us.

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    1. Alison: Madeline, Robin and I have enjoyed reading your questions and discussing flipped classroom issues with you.
      If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email us (addresses are on the article).

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    2. I will definitely be in touch, if only to share what I have developed from your research for my setting. Thanks again.

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  21. I have to go promptly (to another virtual event) but thanks so much for sharing your ideas, and those links look really useful, I will follow them up and share it that's ok!

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    1. I need to go too, but thank you all for sharing your research with us, lots of valuable tips to consider. I hope you'll join in with future conversations!

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  22. Good night all. Thanks for attending.
    Robin

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  23. Robin Vickery: Thanks for organizing this discussion, David. And thanks to Madeline, Robin, and Alison for sharing their tips and advice! This has been very useful, especially for someone new to the profession.

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