## 20111009

### Education research: preliminary feedback on flashcards and online reading assignments (Cuesta College, Astronomy 210, fall semester 2011)

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 ask (anonymous) questions or make (anonymous) comments to be shared by the instructor in the following class.

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 2011 sections 70158, 70160(N = 43)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/slideshow presentations by instructor.1. Not at all             0 : 2. Just a little          6 : ******3. Somewhat              10 : **********4. A lot                 17 : *****************  [3.7 +/- 1.0]5. A great deal          10 : **********     II.2 Working in groups on in-class activities. 1. Not at all             2 : **2. Just a little          4 : ****3. Somewhat               5 : *****4. A lot                 17 : *****************  [3.9 +/- 1.1]5. A great deal          16 : ****************II.3 Using flashcards to participate in class.1. Not at all             1 : *2. Just a little          7 : *******3. Somewhat              12 : ************4. A lot                 14 : **************  [3.6 +/- 1.1]5. A great deal          10 : **********II.4 Reading the textbook.1. Not at all             2 : **2. Just a little          6 : ******3. Somewhat              17 : *****************  [3.3 +/- 0.9]4. A lot                 17 : *****************5. A great deal           2 : **II.5 Interacting with other students during class.   1. Not at all             0 : 2. Just a little          6 : ******3. Somewhat               7 : *******4. A lot                 17 : *****************  [3.9 +/- 1.0]5. A great deal          14 : **************II.6 Interacting with other students outside of class.1. Not at all             8 : ********2. Just a little          7 : *******3. Somewhat              17 : *****************  [2.8 +/- 1.6]4. A lot                  9 : *********5. A great deal           3 : ***II.7 Online reading assignments.1. Not at all             3 : ***2. Just a little          9 : *********3. Somewhat              17 : *****************  [3.0 +/- 1.0]4. A lot                 14 : **************5. A great deal           1 : *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      0 : 2. Disagree               7 : *******3. Neutral               11 : ***********4. Agree                 17 : *****************  [3.6 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree         9 : *********III.2 Flashcards helped me understand lectures better.   1. Strongly disagree      1 : *2. Disagree               3 : ***3. Neutral               12 : ************4. Agree                 18 : ******************  [3.8 +/- 1.0]5. Strongly agree        10 : **********III.3 I would recommend using flashcards in future semesters of this class. 1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               4 : ****3. Neutral               11 : ***********4. Agree                 14 : **************5. Strongly agree        14 : **************  [3.9 +/- 1.0]III.4 I will avoid other classes using flashcards in future semesters. 1. Strongly disagree     13 : *************2. Disagree              19 : *******************  [2.0 +/- 2.0]3. Neutral               11 : ***********4. Agree                  0 : 5. Strongly agree         0 : III.5 Flashcards were a positive experience.    1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               5 : *****3. Neutral               11 : ***********4. Agree                 19 : *******************  [3.7 +/- 0.9]5. Strongly agree         9 : *********III.6 Too much time in class was spent using flashcards.   1. Strongly disagree     13 : *************2. Disagree              20 : ********************  [2.0 +/- 2.1]3. Neutral                7 : *******4. Agree                  4 : ****5. Strongly agree         0 : III.7 Too many flashcard questions were asked. 1. Strongly disagree      9 : *********2. Disagree              24 : ************************  [2.1 +/- 1.5]3. Neutral                8 : ********4. Agree                  3 : ***5. Strongly agree         0 :      III.8 Using flashcards was difficult. 1. Strongly disagree     11 : ***********2. Disagree              19 : *******************  [2.1 +/- 1.8]3. Neutral               10 : **********4. Agree                  3 : ***5. Strongly agree         0 : 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.
"n/a"

"It is a fun way to learn. I would have had more fun in other classes if we had used flashcards."

"I like using flashcards because it helps show me what I actually know and what I need to study."

"I liked using the flash cards but i dont like explaining your answer to the class"

"I like them and would like to do more flashcard questions if we have time."

"I think using Flashcards is a great idea because it personally helps me learn and understand things a lot better! It also helps with the fact that the class isn't boring."

"I am very neutral with flashcards. However, I think after we hear the answer from our peers, it would be great if you can repeat the answer since many of us don't speak loudly and the classroom is big. Also, expanding on the answer would be great!"

"The correct answer was not always given after the discussion, The answer should always be given.
you should spend more time explaining the answers."

"I have never used them before and I like the concept of them. Being able to participate and having the whole class participate together is a good idea."

"Flash Cards are okay. I'm glad you have a (e) if we don't want to be called on cause sometimes I just don't know what I'm talking about or i don't feel like talking cause I'm tired."

"I liked the use of flashcards, especially option E...I used that a lot. It helped talking out answers with people around me though."

"I like how flashcards are anonymous. It was nice for the days I don't like talking in front of the class. I also liked that there was an answer that say I don't know because there are time when you don't know."

"Explaine more on what your trying to ask us and a better definition for the answer so we "all" can understand it."

"Flashcards definitely help me understand the concepts in class. Highly recommend the use of them in future classes. Much easier and faster than clickers."

"We used flashcards?"

"Looking at other peoples answers helped me identify who not to listen to in group activities."

"I like that you have us expain the answer to eachother. but i feel like alot of the times we use the flashcards before we have had a chance to understand the lesson so it makes using the flashcards ineffective."

"The flash cards are very helpful. Even when I already understand a concept, the flash cards are great for reinforcing my knowledge."

"none"

"they help sometimes but I dont really feel like i'm learning anything."

"they help alot and make m pay attion"

"I think it is super effective, and a great tool in seeing what your peers think in conjunction with your own thoughts without disruption of class. The flashcards provide a start in active class discussion on why or why not an answer is correct."

"flashcards are private and help me visually see things"

"n/a"

"They are ok"

"They're much better (and cheaper) than clickers and take up much less time. Going over the questions in class like that and having students answer the questions really help."

"The biggest problem I have with flashcards is nearly every time I've turned to someone close to discuss answers after revealing them, they usually come up with some bullshit answer like, 'oh I just guessed,' or 'I don't know.' Not everyone takes their learning and schooling seriously, and it tends to piss me off when I want to learn."

"This was my first experience with the flashcards and it is positive. Participation is a plus +
I think it works well. As long as we go over why the answer is the correct one, then it works great."

`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      1 : *2. Disagree               7 : *******3. Neutral               22 : **********************  [3.1 +/- 0.8]4. Agree                 13 : *************5. Strongly agree         1 : *V.2 Online reading assignments helped me understand lectures better.1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               9 : *********3. Neutral               18 : ******************  [3.3 +/- 0.9]4. Agree                 14 : **************5. Strongly agree         3 : ***V.3 I would recommend using online reading assignments in future semesters of this class.1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               8 : ********3. Neutral               13 : *************4. Agree                 19 : *******************  [3.4 +/- 0.9]5. Strongly agree         4 : ****V.4 I will avoid other classes using online reading assignments in future semesters. 1. Strongly disagree      8 : ********2. Disagree              19 : *******************  [2.3 +/- 1.4]3. Neutral               15 : ***************4. Agree                  2 : **5. Strongly agree         0 : V.5 Online reading assignments were a positive experience.   1. Strongly disagree      0 : 2. Disagree               5 : *****3. Neutral               15 : ***************4. Agree                 19 : *******************  [3.5 +/- 0.8]5. Strongly agree         5 : *****V.6 Too much time outside of class was spent working on online reading assignments.   1. Strongly disagree      4 : ****2. Disagree              23 : ***********************  [2.4 +/- 1.0]3. Neutral               14 : **************4. Agree                  2 : **5. Strongly agree         1 : *V.7 Too many online reading assignment questions were asked.1. Strongly disagree      4 : ****2. Disagree              22 : **********************  [2.4 +/- 0.9]3. Neutral               15 : ***************4. Agree                  3 : ***5. Strongly agree         0 :      V.8 Completing the online reading assignments was difficult.  1. Strongly disagree     10 : **********2. Disagree              19 : *******************  [2.3 +/- 1.7]3. Neutral                9 : *********4. Agree                  6 : ******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.

"The reading assignments were helpful in that they forced me to read the textbook that I honestly would've ignored otherwise."

"I like the reading assignments because they prepare me for what the next week's lecture will be about."

"The online reading assignments do help too. It helps understand what you're reading a lot better. I don't mind them :)"

"no comment."

"There was always time to complete them."

"im still confused on how to access the online reading"

"I love this online thing you have set up. The questions make me look in the book or search online and in that process I actually learn something and it will stick in my head."

"I didn't really like the online reading assignments. I kept forgetting about them, and they weren't very useful for me."

"I liked that they were short and sometimes random."

"It's nice to have a calendar with all the assignments listed. Please continue using this assignment method."

"For a News junky like me it was nice to have new material."

"im struggling in this class"

"Sometimes i feel like we go through lectures too fast and i also feel like you dont cover very many things from the book. Im not sure on what i need to be studying for the midterm, whether i sould be focusing on reading or lecture notes."

"The reading assignments were not especially challenging or problematic in any way. If anything, they were actually a very good tool to prepare me for subsequent classes. However, I have a bad habit of forgetting any kind of online homework for classes. So I would say the assignments were informative, but perhaps not the best way for me personally to learn and be involved in the course material."

"hi chris!"

"they help more than flashcards"

"How was your week P Dawg!? Ps Wud up Nick!?"

"My only concern is that there are not enough questions on the online reading assignments. I believe a handful more of questions would be best to check for lecture comprehension etc."

"kind of long, lectures and notes on bored would help better"

"I really like them"

"they are bomb diggity"

"Sometimes it's hard to find the answers in the book, but they don't take long, they give us an idea of what we're going to learn in class next class, and I like that they are graded for completion rather than correctness."

"I don't mind the online reading assignments at all. If you're going to pay for school and expect a degree, you need to put effort into it. And if you can't read a book or go outside the book online to research, why are you in school?"

"I prefer reading from the book."