Emerging Research

Emerging Research

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2984-2.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of current research prompted by the findings of the case study explored through this book. The focus of the research is to increase understanding of the factors influencing the transactional distance between students and students. This is largely formed as a consequence of the collaboration that takes place in class during the IGL activities. The first research project aims to shed light on the reasons why students would or would not recommend a flipped class to their friends. This research is quantitative because it is based on measurable answers given by students to questions on a survey. The second research project is qualitative, and seeks to go beyond the survey answers to uncover the reasons behind the answers using focus groups as a tool. The last piece of research is motivated by the conclusions of a number of previous studies indicating that students do not effectively know how to collaborate within groups. This research involves the development and introduction of an up-front leadership/teaming module for flipped classes under the hypothesis that it will enhance effective group collaboration throughout the semester.
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Research Project 1: Factors Influencing Student Decisions To Recommend Flipped Courses

The Coll-TD/F instrument specifically asks students whether they would recommend this (flipped) course to a friend and why or why not. This question was asked because willingness to recommend has been identified by the Sloan Consortium (Lorenzo & Moore, 2002) as being a strong indicator of student satisfaction. The relative proximity questionnaire used during our case study in the previous chapters did measure student relative satisfaction, but provided no further information regarding the reasons for that satisfaction. To gain insights that perhaps would help to answer the questions posed earlier, the Coll-TD/F questionnaires for 234 students that had been enrolled in the flipped classes were separated into responses from students who either 1) indicated that they would recommend the course to a friend, or 2) indicated they would not. The responses for each group were tabulated and are presented in Table 1. Out of the 234 respondents, 206 indicated that they would recommend the course, while 28 would not. For those who would not recommend, 86% indicated that they either preferred a traditional lecture format or they did not like the collaborative format. Interestingly, 87% of those who would recommend did so because of the collaborative format (presumably meaning flipped). Although the research is still ongoing, the results so far appear to indicate that students who would not recommend this course, in contrast to those who would, felt that they: had less interaction with the instructor, did not like the course structure or teaching method, did not like the way their performance was being evaluated and generally, expected to earn lower grades. However, they agreed with those who would recommend the course on: what elements contributed to overall success, how to achieve collaboration with their teammates, and on the individual and teaming skills required to achieve success on take-home (collaborative) assignments. In short, students who would not recommend the course knew what had to be done to be successful, it appears they just did not want to do it (Swart et al., 2016). Research is continuing to seek the root causes for this attitude where one of the key hypotheses being tested is whether this attitude toward collaboration is caused by students not knowing or understanding how to effectively collaborate in teams.

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