Manchester Metropolitan University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 2373-2381
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
This project has harnessed recent advances in communication to enhance the student learning experience. The objective was to use technology to complement and make better use of the lecturer-student contact time. There is evidence from a study in chemistry teaching at MMU that screencasting can lead to significant educational gains in this area. The aim was to release the contact time for more interactive learning using the flipped teaching model.

Screencasts are a digital video recording of your computer screen and include an audio commentary. The resulting videos are available through a VLE giving the students access to the material. A study into the impact of screencasts was carried out with a final year core chemistry unit during the 2014/15 academic year. This unit contained the largest group and had a significant theory component. A weekly pre-lecture screencast was recorded using Camtasia studio and made available prior to the lecture and students viewed them to prepare for classes. Each screencast generally lasted around 5 mins covering a key concept to be discussed in the lecture.

The lecture now became less about the transmission of information and included more student participation by using smartphones combined with a game-based learning and classroom response system. The strategy for the lectures involved asking a question, giving the students time to think and polling the answers. The aim being to engage students during class through a sequence of questioning and discussion. Students were asked to respond to the same question after a short discussion with someone in the class who had a different answer. After a second polling of the same question, the differences between the two responses was compared followed by an explanation of the correct answer. This approach has provided a fertile environment for peer instruction as well as being extremely useful in engaging the majority of class during the flipped lectures. In most cases, an increase in the percentage of right answers was observed between the two rounds after the peer discussion.

Initial feedback has shown that this style of delivery has had a significant impact on the student learning experience. The results of a survey showed that 86% had used the screencasts before attending lectures and students believed that screencasts had helped them understand the content of the lecture. In addition, 80% thought that the quizzes enhanced the lectures and all of these students agreed that the quizzes had helped their understanding. In addition, 88% had welcomed the opportunity to discuss the questions with their fellow students during class.

The screencasts provide a convenient mechanism to promote pre-lecture engagement using innovative blended learning. Student reaction has been very positive and screencasting has lead to significant educational gains, further results from the flipped lectures in chemistry will be presented in this paper.
Screencasts, e-learning, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), Flipped Teaching Model, Blended Learning, Peer Instruction.