My blended course design involved shifting some activities that were previously delivered in F2F setting to on - line: chapter quizzes, videos and map assignments. There were 10 modules in all, each based on a topic correlated with the chapters in the assigned text book. Each module took approximately 1 week to complete (which was the same pace as my F2F classes). Beginning the third week of class, students met for F2F lecture/discussion twice weekly. It was expected that students complete readings/assignments/quizzes in lieu of a third class meeting. Exams were administered F2F. In one class section (SOC 101 06), I required students to participate in discussion boards. This class was my experimental group. The remaining three classes formed my control groups (SOC 101 01, 101 04 and 101 07). Students participating in the experimental group were divided into 5 different discussion boards, comprised of 10 students in each. I posed questions to encourage a deeper understanding and application of sociological concepts, based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students were evaluated based on level of participation in discussions, as well as the knowledge demonstrated in their responses.
During the last week of the course, students in all four class sections were given a written exam to measure their comprehension and application of the sociological perspective. Students read a specially chosen selection, and were required to analyze the reading utilizing sociological terminology, including the sociological imagination. I compared the scores on this exam, analyzing student averages in both the experimental and control groups to see if there was a difference between groups.
The average grade between groups of students differed significantly. The average score of the experimental groups was 8.29 (of possible 10 points) while the average of the non experimental group was 4.95 (with a standard deviation of 3.87). However, class performance varied as well. In terms of final grades, only 29% students in the experimental group earned A for the course. In the other courses, the number of students earning As were 45%, 41% and 51% (sections 01, 04 and 07 respectively). The only F grades were given to students enrolled in SOC 101 06 .
Transcript
1.
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2013 IBIS Grant Final Report
Colleen Avedikian, Lecturer
Department of Sociology
UMass Dartmouth
2.
Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101) is a survey
of the fundamental principles of sociology and
the basic factors conditioning social behavior.
This is a general education course that fulfills
the diversity requirement for General Education
courses, and either Cluster 4 B or 4C for
University Studies requirements. The majority
of students enrolled in the course are in their
First Year of college. 2
3.
Four blended sections of SOC 101 taught in Fall,
2012
The learning management system: My Soc Lab
through Pearson Higher Learning.
Blended activities: on-line chapter quizzes,
articles, videos and interactive map assignments
One section of SOC 101 required to also
participate in discussion boards
(experimental group)
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4.
SOC 101 students who participate in on-line
discussion boards will demonstrate a deeper
comprehension of the concept “sociological
imagination” than students who do not
participate in discussion boards.
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5.
The sociological imagination is the concept of
being able to “think ourselves away” from the
familiar routines of our daily lives in order to
look at them anew. Mills defined sociological
imagination as “the vivid awareness of the
relationship between experience and the wider
society.” It is the ability to see things socially
and how they interact and influence each other.
To have a sociological imagination, a person
must be able to pull away from the situation and
think from an alternative point of view
(Crossman, 2011). 5
6.
Analyze issues/events using one’s own
“sociological imagination.”
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7.
The assessment of the SLO was through the use
an exam, administered at the end of the
semester.
Exam grades of students in experimental group
(those required to participate in discussion
boards) were compared to those in the control
groups (three classes not required to participate
in discussion boards).
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9.
The average grade between groups of students
differed significantly. The average score of the
experimental groups was 8.29 (of possible 10
points) while the average of the non experimental
group was 4.95 (with a standard deviation of 3.87).
However, class performance varied as well. In
terms of final grades, only 29% students in the
experimental group earned A for the course. In
the other courses, the number of students earning
As were 45%, 41% and 51% (sections 01, 04 and 07
respectively). The only F grades were given to
students enrolled in SOC 101 06.
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10.
This project was not able to definitely conclude that
student performance was enhanced through the use of
technology. Further analysis of the data will be
necessary. There may be other independent variables
to explain the difference in test scores between the
experimental and control groups.
While the test scores were higher for the experimental
group, it should be noted many students did not
consistently participate in discussion boards. Of the
total group, 19% (9 students) did not participate at all
in discussion boards
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