Description

Project Overview: This is an Exploratory proposal for the Engaged Student Learning strand of the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE: EHR) program solicitation (NSF 14-588). The proposed project addresses the immediate challenge of alleviating the use of lecturing in large college STEM classes by investigating the use of monolog and dialog videos in a university biology course. In general, lecturing causes students to learn passively. One approach to remediate the current problem of lecturing, especially in large classrooms, is to explore whether there is another way to present instructional materials via online videos, other than explaining in a monolog talking-head fashion. The proposed project adopts a novel evidence-based instructional format that presents online video materials without lecturing, by presenting tutorial dialogs instead of an instructors monolog explanations. This new instructional format is grounded in Chis theoretical framework on active learning and two prior studies have replicated the effectiveness of dialog videos for learning two STEM concepts. This dialog format also seems to naturally foster more active learning on the part of the students. The major goal of this proposal is to test this novel instructional format that merges the benefits of videos with active learning in an authentic college science classroom, and to seek an explanation for why it is beneficial, in terms of how it mediates more active learning on the part of the students naturally, without any elicitation.
The primary questions to be answered by this project are: 1) Are dialog tutorial videos (between a teacher explaining to a student) more beneficial for students learning in an authentic college classroom than monolog videos (a teacher explaining in a lecture style), 2) Are students more likely to engage actively with the content of the videos when watching dialog videos than monolog videos, and 3) Are students tendency to work more actively in the context of dialog videos reflected in their self-reported enjoyment, interest, and preference on a survey? To answer these questions, dialog and monolog videos will be created for four weeks of a large college biology course (with 180 students) and tested across two fall semesters. Students will be assigned to one of two groups that will watch either a monolog or dialog version of three ten-minute segments of video about core class content each week. Video type will be counterbalanced across the four weeks, and students will complete a 15-minute survey at the end of week two and week four, to gauge their interest and preference for dialog versus monolog . Additional data collected will include a pre-test and post-test (midterm), weekly pre-class quiz to see how much they have learned from the videos, weekly reflection questions to see how much they have learned from the prior weeks instruction, student process/product data, and six open-ended questions. Analysis of the data will consist of first conducting an independent samples t-test to determine if similar groups can be combined from different weeks after the first year, and from both semesters after the second year. A series of reliability-corrected ANCOVAs will then be conducted to look for a main effect on students post-test scores. Multiple regression analyses will be conducted to determine the relationship between the survey variables and student learning. Students products will be coded or scored by two raters and inter-rater reliability will be calculated.
Intellectual Merit: The result of this intervention study in a college classroom will have both theoretical and practical intellectual merit. First, the results will tell us if the findings from laboratory studies with respect to the benefit of dialog videos over monolog videos will hold in an authentic college STEM course. Second, it provides guidelines for how college instructors can easily customize videos for their own classes, even by shooting the videos on a weekly basis before class.
Broader Impact: The evidence-based instructional practices to be tested in this proposal (using dialog videos versus monolog), can be adopted in various STEM domains, can be used in both small and large large classes. Thus our findings will have impact beyond the biology class tested in this study. It also has broad implication for online videos such as MOOCs. Since MOOCs will reach hundreds of thousands of learners across the globe, modifying the format of online videos from monologs to dialogs will have a significant impact on students learning and understanding of STEM courses, including students in remote areas and disabled students who cannot attend face-to-face classes.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/163/31/18

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $249,995.00

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video
dialogue
learning
student
biology
classroom
semester
instructor
quiz
teacher
evidence