Case Study: Moving Through Subsequent Cycles

Case Study: Moving Through Subsequent Cycles

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2984-2.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter discusses how the information received from subsequent cycles should be interpreted. It explains that the results from subsequent cycles will show both continual and continuous improvements. It also explains the envelope of improvement that places an upper limit on the amount that the results can improve over time. It expands on this concept by similarly showing that the TD factors are significant predictors of relative student satisfaction (which in turn measure outcomes) and how they can change as the number of P-D-S-A cycles increases. Continuing with our case study, we will find that the transactional distance between student and student is the only factor that remains significant in every cycle. This underlies the importance of team interaction to satisfaction in the flipped classroom. Finally, the traditional learning outcome of student grades is shown for the same course the years before it was flipped, and the years after it was flipped. The flipped classes show improvement in average and median grades as well as grade spread, attesting to the camaraderie and team loyalty developed among team members that encouraged everyone to contribute to each other's success.
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Interpreting Results

The second iteration of the P-D-S-A cycle begins with a syllabus that has been modified by interjecting action plans. These action plans were based on the relative proximities obtained from the analysis of the survey results from the fall 2013-2014 students, as well as other formal or informal analyses conducted by the instructor. These modifications were hypothesized to improve the results in the flipped class as measured by relative student satisfaction.

To test these hypotheses, different students taking the class during a different semester were surveyed. Instructors regularly comment to each other about the quality of their students they have in their classes, and often they refer to their classes being different from each other, or from those they had during a previous semester. Thus, while syllabus modifications are deliberate and are intended to improve the flipped classroom results, the actual results are in fact random. The implication being that there is no assurance that the results obtained after any one DO phase of the cycle will be numerically better than during the previous cycle. The expectation is that while there may be short-term ups and downs in the results, the long term trend will always be upward toward better results achieved over several DO phases.

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