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E-learningProject resultsFlipped classroom

Methods and tools: a comparison

We can roughly subdivide tools for flipped classroom in three categories: Student-response systems, tools for recording video and discussion platforms. The tools selected here are mainly selected on ease to use for teachers. Teachers should be able to quickly use these tools from their own work place, be it at home or at the university.

Student-response systems

Most common are Mentimeter, Kahoot and Socrative. All three tools are free to use to a certain extend. All three have in common that they are easy to use, work well on mobile devices and allow you to create a free account and save questions.

Differences

There are some small differences too: Kahoot has the most different look and feel, it is more competition based, and has a more animated look where Mentimeter and Socrative have a more formal look. Kahoot is definitely a good choice if you want to use competition elements in your class. However this comes at a bandwidth price, which means that, the more participants, the higher the bandwidth of your internet connection needs to be. This limitation also applies to Socrative, who do not guarantee success over 50 participants (a 150 will definitely be too much for Socrative). This makes Socrative not very useful for large groups. The plus side of Socrative is that it lets you export voting data for free. This is a paid feature in Mentimeter. This free export is also available in Kahoot. Finally Socrative and Mentimeter allow you to choose different question types (also open questions), where Kahoot does not (Multiple Choice only). All three also have the possibility to not show the answers to students right away, in case peer discussion is wanted in between voting.

Conclusion

To avoid bandwidth issues with large groups (100+) Mentimeter seems the safest bet right now. For about 150 users Kahoot requires about 5-6mbit connection. Mentimeter also has open questions which Kahoot does not. However, if you want to run a competitive quiz, Kahoot is definitely worth figuring out whether the bandwidth is fast enough. Socrative seems too limited for most groups given its small possible group size.

A tool that needs separate mention is Feedback Fruits. Feedback Fruits is a collaboration tool which is currently being tested in pilots at our university. The upside of this tool is that it is a learning environment (possible to be combined with Nestor/Blackboard) which also holds a lecture and voting tool and offers most of the features mentioned in the other tools. However given the cost of Feedback Fruits, the definite implementation has to be decided after piloting within our university.

Flipped classroom in action
Flipped classroom in action
Recording video

For teachers who want to produce their own short videos (for instructions for creating one: see chapter 6 and appendix 1) there are several tools available. At our university we have many teachers using screencast-o-matic. This, simple to use, tool lets you record your video within the web browser, or you can also download the tool (both for Windows and Mac) and run it locally (which is convenient in case you have no Internet). Another well know tool is Camtasia. However, contrary to Screencast-o-matic, this tool does not have a free version. The upside of Camtasia is that it comes with a nice package of editing and animation tools so you can create more professionally looking videos, where Screencast-o-matic only has some basic features which are also only available in a paid version of the program. Furthermore the free version of Screencast-o-matic limits your recordings to a maximum of 15 minutes per video. Both programs allow you to make a screen recording (of your computer screen, so you can record your PowerPoint for instance) and combine this with a video & audio (webcam for instance) of yourself. Both programs make recording very easy to do, which means that you can record new videos quickly, anytime and anywhere.

Conclusion: For teachers who wish to spend more time on editing and creating more professionally looking videos, Camtasia is a very viable option, even with the cost that goes into it. However for most teachers, who wish to record simple video-presentations screencast-o-matic is a great tool. Also the cost to switch to the Pro-version and the ability to use simple editing tools is only 15 USD per account, which is very low.

Discussion platforms

The use of discussion platforms for flipped classroom is very useful. It can be used to have students post questions on that week’s topics, or send in questions that can be used for the flipped classroom sessions. The most commonly used platform is Nestor/Blackboard. The advantage of Nestor is that it is already being used as electronic learning platform, thus not requiring students to log in to another system. For teachers who are more experienced with Nestor, a great tool to link flipped classroom activities is the Course Organizer. Also available is the use Google Communities or Groups. All students and teachers have a Google account using their university mail. The plus side of this tool is the easy access via Mobile Devices. The downside is that it requires students and teachers to activate a Google+ account with their RUG email and creates an extra platform outside of Nestor. Finally, the previously mentioned Feedback Fruits, holds many opportunities for group discussion and is currently being tested.

Last modified:22 December 2017 10.46 a.m.
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