## 20100929

### Education research: preliminary feedback on flashcards and online reading assignments (Cuesta College, Astronomy 210, Fall Semester 2010)

Cuesta College students taking Astronomy 210 (introductory astronomy) at Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA use flashcards to engage in peer-interaction ("think-pair-share") discussion questions during lecture, and complete weekly online reading assignments (hosted by SurveyMonkey.com), where they answer questions based on reading their textbook, material covered in previous lectures, opinion questions, and/or asking (anonymous) questions or making (anonymous) comments.

Through the fifth week of instruction, students were given the opportunity to evaluate the instructional components of the course, and the use of flashcards and online reading assignments in an online "Learning Resource Survey" hosted by SurveyMonkey.com. Questions from section II are adapted from the Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) survey (developed by Elaine Seymour, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison), and questions from section III (III.1, III.3, III.5, and III.7) were adapted from a "Clicker Attitude Survey" (N. W. Reay, Lei Bao, and Pengfei Li, Physics Education Research Group, Ohio State University).

These are the complete survey results. Analysis will be forthcoming after more data has been compiled from future semesters. Values for the mean and standard deviations are given next to the modal response category for each question. Note that the order of questions within sections II, III, and V were randomly scrambled for each student.
`Learning Resource SurveyCuesta CollegeAstronomy 210 Fall Semester 2010 sections 70158, 70160(N = 35)I. In order to receive credit for completing this survey,    first enter your first and last name below:   ____II. How much did each of the following aspects of the class help     your learning?II.1 Lecture by instructor.1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               1 : *3. Neutral                5 : *****4. Agree                 17 : *****************  [4.1 +/- 0.8]5. Strongly agree        12 : ************     II.2 Working in groups on in-class activities. 1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               1 : *3. Neutral               11 : ***********4. Agree                 14 : **************5. Strongly agree         9 : *********  [3.9 +/- 0.8]II.3 Using flashcards to participate in class.1. Strongly disagree      3 : ***2. Disagree               1 : *3. Neutral                6 : ******4. Agree                 13 : *************  [3.9 +/- 1.2]5. Strongly agree        12 : ************II.4 Reading the textbook.1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               2 : **3. Neutral               12 : ************  [3.6 +/- 0.9]4. Agree                 16 : ****************5. Strongly agree         4 : ****II.5 Interacting with other students during class.   1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               1 : *3. Neutral               10 : **********4. Agree                 17 : *****************  [3.7 +/- 0.9]5. Strongly agree         6 : ******II.6 Interacting with other students outside of class.1. Strongly disagree      3 : ***2. Disagree               5 : *****3. Neutral               15 : ***************  [3.1 +/- 1.1]4. Agree                  8 : ********5. Strongly agree         4 : ****II.7 Online reading assignments.1. Strongly disagree      2 : **2. Disagree               3 : ***3. Neutral               12 : ************  [3.5 +/- 1.1]4. Agree                 13 : *************5. Strongly agree         5 : *****III. Answer the following statements which may or may not describe      your beliefs about the use of flashcards in this class.III.1 I like using flashcards. 1. Strongly disagree      2 : **2. Disagree               5 : *****3. Neutral                4 : ****4. Agree                 18 : ******************  [3.6 +/- 1.1]5. Strongly agree         6 : ******III.2 Flashcards helped me understand lectures better.   1. Strongly disagree      2 : **2. Disagree               4 : ****3. Neutral                4 : ****4. Agree                 18 : ******************  [3.7 +/- 1.1]5. Strongly agree         7 : *******III.3 I would recommend using flashcards in future semesters of this class. 1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               3 : ***3. Neutral                5 : *****4. Agree                 16 : ****************  [3.9 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree        10 : **********III.4 I will avoid other classes using flashcards in future semesters. 1. Strongly disagree      9 : *********2. Disagree              16 : ****************  [2.1 +/- 1.7]3. Neutral                6 : ******4. Agree                  3 : ***5. Strongly agree         0 : III.5 Flashcards were a positive experience.    1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               6 : ******3. Neutral                6 : ******4. Agree                 15 : ***************  [3.7 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree         8 : ********III.6 Too much time in class was spent using flashcards.   1. Strongly disagree      8 : ********2. Disagree              18 : ******************  [2.1 +/- 1.5]3. Neutral                7 : *******4. Agree                  1 : *5. Strongly agree         1 : *III.7 Too many flashcard questions were asked. 1. Strongly disagree      6 : ******2. Disagree              19 : *******************  [2.3 +/- 1.4]3. Neutral                6 : ******4. Agree                  2 : **5. Strongly agree         2 : **     III.8 Using flashcards was difficult. 1. Strongly disagree     10 : **********2. Disagree              16 : ****************  [2.1 +/- 1.9]3. Neutral                5 : *****4. Agree                  2 : **5. Strongly agree         1 : *IV. (Optional.) Please type in any comments you may have regarding     the use of flashcards in Astronomy 210.`
The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
":)"

"I think it's a good way for the teacher to gauge the students' understanding of the concepts presented in class."

"I think using flashcards is helpful because it reinforces what's being taught, and we are asked some questions that are likely to be on the test/quizzes. Also, we answer to some extent of anonymity which takes the pressure off."

"I enjoy it way more than working in groups. :P"

"I think using flash cards have helped me a lot when it comes to understanding lectures"

"A... no wait, D."

"i really enjoy the use of flash cards they help me better understand what is going on in the class."

"I like the use of flashcards and having the opportunity to explain your position."

"I think the flash cards are a cop out for the teacher to do the job of explaining... I don't think people learn by having a multiple choice question presented, a flash card flash fest, and then having someone answer... The people who understand answer but most times I still don't know why and feel like I need to learn the material all by myself. I read the chapters which is where I feel like have learned the most in this class."

"i think its a good way to learn things if we dont understand it you will explain it to us also with ohter student in the class answering and explaing it in there way helps also..."

"Flashcards are a good way to keep students focused, the only downside is that we as students can not see the majority of the classes' answer."

"The flashcards were new and different to me when I first started the class, but now I have learned to like them."

"I think they are good way for the student to find out if they know something before a test, and its a good indicator for the proffesor about how the class is doing on different subjects."

"I really don't mind the flashcards."

"I only like the way flashcards are used in this class. Other classes use them to put students on the spot and they are unhelpful in other classes."

"Unless the answers are reviewed in class, I don't understand the use of the flashcards. If they are used, the professor needs to go over them thoroughly and slowly. Rushing through them makes it really confusing."

"Ireally liked them."

"Very helpful for exams and correcting misunderstandings."

"Flashcards are good, just the questions are really hard at times and I wish the teacher would explain it himself instead of having us students discuss it with each other."

"Flash cards are great because they make everyone answer the questions rather than just the people who already know the right answer. Also, they are much more efficient than the clickers that we use in other classes in my opinion.
I've never used flashcards in any other class before this one and I really like it."

"I liked the use of flashcards in class because if we were wrong we were able to find out from our classmates the best possible answer."

"i really like the flashcards they are really useful."

"Flashcards are difficult... I'm always worried when we have to use them"

`V. Answer the following statements which may or may not describe      your beliefs about the use of the online reading assignments in this class.V.1 I like working on the online reading assignments. 1. Strongly disagree      2 : **2. Disagree               4 : ****3. Neutral               10 : **********4. Agree                 16 : ****************  [3.4 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree         3 : ***V.2 Online reading assignments helped me understand lectures better.1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               4 : ****3. Neutral               13 : *************4. Agree                 15 : ***************  [3.4 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree         2 : **V.3 I would recommend using online reading assignments in future semesters of this class.1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               1 : *3. Neutral               10 : **********4. Agree                 19 : *******************  [3.7 +/- 0.8]5. Strongly agree         4 : ****V.4 I will avoid other classes using online reading assignments in future semesters. 1. Strongly disagree      8 : ********2. Disagree              22 : **********************  [1.9 +/- 1.4]3. Neutral                5 : *****4. Agree                  0 : 5. Strongly agree         0 : V.5 Online reading assignments were a positive experience.   1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               2 : **3. Neutral               10 : **********4. Agree                 18 : ******************  [3.7 +/- 0.8]5. Strongly agree         5 : *****V.6 Too much time outside of class was spent working on online reading assignments.   1. Strongly disagree     10 : **********2. Disagree              15 : ***************  [2.0 +/- 1.8]3. Neutral                9 : *********4. Agree                  1 : *5. Strongly agree         0 : V.7 Too many online reading assignment questions were asked.1. Strongly disagree      7 : *******2. Disagree              22 : **********************  [2.0 +/- 1.3]3. Neutral                5 : *****4. Agree                  0 : 5. Strongly agree         1 : *     V.8 Completing the online reading assignments was difficult.  1. Strongly disagree     11 : ***********  [2.1 +/- 2.0]2. Disagree              13 : *************3. Neutral                9 : *********4. Agree                  2 : **5. Strongly agree         0 : VI. (Optional.) Please type in any comments you may have regarding     the online reading assignments in Astronomy 210.`
The following are all of the student responses to this question, verbatim and unedited.
":)"

"I think it's a pretty good idea to do the online reading assignments."

"I don't think online reading assignments really helped me at all thus far in the semester. We're quizzed on the chapters we havent even gone over yet in class, so it's all pretty much a guess. It's not very time consuming or neccessarily difficult, but I don't see the relevance or importance of it.
yay!"

"The online reading assignments were chalenging but it helped me understand the material"

"There were no cake."

"the online reading assignments sometimes help but other times i don't recall what was on the online reading assignment.
I would prefer online questions that pertain to the work we are currently doing in class, not on future subjects that we may not even get to in the next lecture."

"They are easy to complete and it is nice not having a bunch of homework; however it doesn't really require the student to do much or learn because they are pass or fail."

"the onlie reading assingments are nice they are just like a little summary of what we should have read it also helps me kind of know waht the main points where if that what you are pulling out of it. i dont think they are to much or do i think there is to many questions. they are a easy way to get thoes extra points to help if u completly bomb a test these will help in the end run."

"They are easy and simple, but challenge me to think a little bit."

"The online reading assignments have really helped me in learning more about astronomy."

"I like the online reading assignments better than other homework."

"These online reading assignments are very helpful and an easy way to do homework."

"Answers to these questions would be useful if they are discussed in the following class."

"They were good, and really make you read the book."

"Good amount and not an overload to remember information."

"Online reading assignments are pretty easy, and its a lot better doing in on the keyboard rather than doing questions out of the book."

"They're pretty easy, but they require reading the textbook to complete them anyway."

"I think it is awesome that you realize we are busy with other classes as well as yours so i like that theres not a billion questions."

"The only problem I have with the assignments was it was hard to get my computer to recognize the site."