Levelling Up Learning:Exploring the Impact of Gamification in Flipped Classrooms: Course informationby@magnetosphere

Levelling Up Learning:Exploring the Impact of Gamification in Flipped Classrooms: Course information

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This paper explores impact in flipped classrooms, offering recommendations for effective implementation and future research to enhance student success.
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(1) Eilidh Jack, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ ([email protected]);

(2) Craig Alexander, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ ([email protected]);

(3) Elinor Jones, Department of Statistical Science, University College London, London, WC1E 7HB ([email protected]).

2 Course information

At the University of Glasgow, the School of Mathematics and Statistics offer courses in introductory Statistics to undergraduate students across the University. These level 1 courses are typically taken in year 1 or 2 (pre-honours) of a student’s university career, which typically lasts 4 years. In year 1, single honours students will take courses in three subjects, one of which will be the subject they have chosen to specialise in. Any of these three courses can be considered in year 2, and students have the option to switch their chosen degree programme to any of these subjects conditional on meeting the requirements for progression. The purpose of the level 1 statistics courses is predominately to prepare students who are interested in studying statistics at higher levels and, given that most students will have little experience of statistics when they arrive at university, introduce students to the subject with the hope that students will choose to continue studying statistics in future years. There are two level 1 courses taught over two semesters (semester 1: Sep-Dec and semester 2: Jan-Mar) with final exams taking place at the end of each semester. Given the growing awareness of the importance of statistics across many disciplines, the courses have become increasingly popular over the past few years with 200+ students enrolled.

To align with the University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching strategy, the courses were re-designed for 2020-21 with the aim of evolving the approach to learning and teaching towards student-centered, active learning. The approach taken for these courses was to introduce a flipped learning model, with a variety of online learning materials for students to complete before live teaching sessions. In-person sessions were then used to consolidate learning through a variety of interactive activities for students to complete individually or in small groups. For the purpose of this study we will call these online learning materials, ‘pre-lecture activities’.

2.1 Data

The data for this study are taken from Moodle activity logs. These can be used to view all student interactions with Moodle, including engagement with the activities of interest for the courses under consideration here. Data such as these are becoming increasingly available and the use of data in the support of student learning is commonly referred to as learning analytics ([Leitner et al., 2017]). At this institution, staff may undertake learning analytics activities which enable interventions to assist students through the analysis of their own data. However, when such projects are intended for external dissemination they also require ethical approval. This study falls into the latter category and ethical approval was sought and granted in advance of this study taking place (application number 300220006). The research ethics associated with this study required students to consent to their data being used as part of this project. Consent was requested during live teaching sessions and was granted for n = 100 (out of a total of 257) students in 2022-23 and n = 77 (out of a total of 280) students in 2023-24. Unfortunately we were unable to obtain retrospective ethical approval to access data from 2020-21 (when flipped learning was introduced) and 2021-22 due to the opt-in nature of the study. We can therefore only provide results and comparisons for engagement using the 2022-23 and 2023-24 cohorts.

Students attended three in-person sessions a week, and before each of these were asked to complete the following pre-lecture activities:

• Textbook readings - students were asked to read a section of the course textbook in advance of the associated in-person session. The purpose of the readings was to introduce students to the course material. Completion of these can only be tracked through students manually marking completion via activity tracking on Moodle.

• Formative reading quizzes - students were asked to complete a short quiz associated with after reading the corresponding textbook section. The purpose of the quizzes was for students to consolidate their learning and test their understanding of the course material in advance of the corresponding in-person session. Information on attempts for all quizzes is automatically stored in Moodle. It is therefore possible to determine which students have completed a quiz, when they started/finished the quiz, and their performance on the quiz. We can therefore track engagement in the quizzes and compare this with different cohorts as well as monitoring performance to inform the active learning sessions. These will be referred to as pre-lecture quizzes.

This paper is available on arxiv under CC BY 4.0 DEED license.