VoiceThread for Improving Deep Learning: a Flipped Classroom Model


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An overview of an instructional model used in a 2009 community college teaching experiment by Michelle Pacansky-Brock including student survey results. VoiceThread was used as an online formative assessment tool to provide scaffolding of individualized learning and support for cognitive growth to improve students' higher order thinking skills. Transforming class time from passive to active learning opened opportunities for relevant, active learning activities.

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  • Michelle, I am very appreciative of your work, especially with Voice Thread. Please consider this comment as one coming from a friend.

    Your note #4 says: Source: Weiss-McGrath Report, 1992. In fact, the 'report' consists of a few lines of text from a 1963 book that says 'one study...' but gives no reference. There is no such report, really. See law librarian Pepper Hedden's expose at



    Mark Heinemann
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VoiceThread for Improving Deep Learning: a Flipped Classroom Model

  1. 1. Improving Deep Learning with VoiceThread a Flipped Classroom Model Michelle Pacansky-Brock brocansky@gmail.comhttp://www.TeachingWithoutWalls.com @brocansky
  2. 2. What is deep learning?“Deep learning — learning associated with higher-order cognitive tasks — is typically contrasted withrote memorization. Memorization may help studentspass an exam, but it doesn’t necessarily expandstudents’ understanding of the world around them,help them make connections across disciplines, orpromote the application of knowledge and skills innew situations.” “The Heart of Student Success.” http://www.ccsse.org/
  3. 3. Keys to Improving CollegeDegree Attainment Rate: • Morememorization less rote deep learning, • Faculty development should foster new ways of teaching to meet today’s students’ learning preferences and challenges http://www.ccsse.org/
  4. 4. Source: Weiss-McGrath Report, 1992
  5. 5. How can VoiceThread be used toimprove learning in a lecture-based learning environment?
  6. 6. Did the audio and video Student Survey comments increase thesense that your instructor from my online class was present in your learning experience? 94% 98%Audio strongly agreed Video strongly agreed or agreed or agreed Pacansky-Brock, 2008. 101 online students surveyed, 88% response rate
  7. 7. Provides built-in support forlearners with cognitive disabilities.
  8. 8. Times have changed.
  9. 9. Why hasn’t this?
  10. 10. How Can Technology Be Used To:• create more time for active learning in undergraduate classes that rely heavily on lecture?• design inclusive learning environments that meet the needs of more students?• increase interactions between students- instructor and students-students beyond the classroom?
  11. 11. My “Flipped” Students’ Comments: evidence of deep learning“I learned more than I ever thought I would. ...I will take some of the lessons I learned herewith me for the rest of my life.”“In traditional lecture classes you feel like youare being forcefed the information, but in thisclass you felt like you were living the history ineach of the learning units and truly connectingto the material.”
  12. 12. My “Flipped” Students’ Comments: evidence of deep learning“I really enjoyed the class and I understood thecontent a lot better than I would have in just atraditional classroom setting.”“I have to admit it did take a little getting use to,and did require you to become a little moreorganized, BUT the richness in the informationwas a wonderful trade off. I feel as though Iwalked through the 1920s in Paris and was ableto breathe in the atmosphere...”
  13. 13. My “Flipped” Students’ Comments: evidence of deep learning“[The class] made me look at the images Isee every day in a new way. I also liked theway that the class was set up. I think thatmore classes should be taught this way.”“The material presented in this class promptedme to evaluate my experiences as a female interms of my connections to females who havelived before me, females now and those whowill soon arrive on the scene.”
  14. 14. Face-to-Face Learning © Laurie Burrussfrom this to this
  15. 15. Time for a 21st Century Makeover!
  16. 16. How Did It Work?
  17. 17. Mobile Lectures Listen or readby Ed Yourdon CC-BY-NC
  18. 18. Effect on Student Learning?
  19. 19. Having the option to read or listen to a lecture increased my ability to achieve the learning objectives. 70% 52.5% 35% 17.5% 92.5% = stronglyStrongly Agree agreed/agreed 0% Neutral
  20. 20. When given the option to read or listen to a lecture, which option did you choose? 50%40% 37.5% 30% 25% 15% 12.5% 15% read both 0% read, sometimes neither listened
  21. 21. Why did you choose this lecture format? 70% 67% 52.5% 35% 22% 17.5% Meets 11%my learning Most 0% style convenient It’s what I’m for me used to Didn’t want doing to deal with more technology
  22. 22. Improve higher order thinking skills by transforming classtime from passive to active learning.
  23. 23. 5. Summative Assessment (in-class) 4. Online Formative Assessment (post-class) 3. Discussions, Critiques, Debate (in class) 2. Online Formative Assessment (pre-class) 1. Mobile Lecture (pre-class)Unit: Learning Objectives
  24. 24. Online Pre- and Post-Class Formative Assessments cloud application no cost to student provides conversations around media comments in voice, video or text
  25. 25. Learning Unit Learning Unit Learning Unit Learning Objectives Learning Objectives Learning Objectives Reading Reading Reading Mobile Lecture Mobile Lecture Mobile LecturePre-Class VoiceThread Pre-Class VoiceThread Pre-Class VoiceThread In-Class Activities In-Class Activities In-Class ActivitiesPost-Class VoiceThread Post-Class VoiceThread Post-Class VoiceThread Summative Assessments Individual Essays/Short Answer/Multiple Choice Research Project of Student’s Choice
  26. 26. pre-class Online Formative AssessmentsEngage background knowledge and assess lower order thinking skills, aligned with lecture content.
  27. 27. pre-classOnline Formative Assessments
  28. 28. pre-class in class post-class
  29. 29. post-classOnline Formative Assessments
  30. 30. Student Feedback: VoiceThread• “I liked the voicethreads the best because it helped make me think in other ways and get different perspectives from my fellow students.”• “...created an environment for people to do well who don’t always do best in a classroom environment if they’re afraid to talk in class or if the class is run by a group of students who dominate the conversation.”• “... helped me to really understand the content we were learning and also get feedback from other students and from our professor as well.”
  31. 31. Interacting with my classmates in the VoiceThreads increased oursense of community when in class. 81% strongly agreed or agreed Pacansky-Brock, 2009. 77% response rate.
  33. 33. THIS CLASS HELPED ME UNDERSTAND HOW I LEARN BEST. 77% response rate41% 40% 15%
  34. 34. By completing the lectures outside the classroom, the time we spent in class was more relevant to my own learning. 50% 41% 41% 37.5% 25% 15% 12.5%Strongly Agree 4% 0% Neutral 81% = strongly agree/agree Strongly Disagree
  35. 35. Student InterviewListen to the full 20-minute interview at: http://www.box.net/shared/eygt08tvmi
  36. 36. by Valerie Everett on Flickr Michelle Pacansky-Brock brocansky@gmail.comwww.teachingwithoutwalls.com