IIT Jodhpur researcher investigates Blended Learning Framework Using Flipped Teaching

JODHPUR : The Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur researcher has successfully explored and analysed the video-based flipped classroom model’s usefulness and convenience. The objective of the research was also to know if the analytics obtained from the interactive video assignments can be used to further flag at-risk students and make timely interventions. In a flipped classroom model, the study material is provided to students in advance for careful study and review, and the lecture sessions are utilized in interactions, discussions, and problem-solving.

The Covid-19 pandemic made online learning an inescapable necessity for teachers and students. Particularly for the students stuck in the digital divide, due to socio-economic and geographical disparities, power or internet outages etc., instructors needed to innovate new and flexible ways of keeping the students “engaged” in learning at their convenience. This has motivated Dr. Rajlaxmi Chouhan, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Jodhpur, to analyse a video-based flipped classroom that has seen success in many countries across programs and disciplines. The researcher is the recipient of the 2019 Teaching Excellence Award and the 2021 Dr. Vandana Sharma Memorial Award for Teaching Innovation at IIT Jodhpur.

In this work, the use of flipped classrooms using interactive video modules, along with some simulation and immersive learning elements, are explored for IIT Jodhpur’s first-year students. To recreate in-class personalized experience for the students, video lectures created by the instructor have been used with questions interleaved at strategic locations to monitor the attention and engagement of the student. The detailed published research paper can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1109/EDUCON52537.2022.9766787. The research was carried out at the Education Technology Vertical of the Centre for Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Development, IIT Jodhpur.

The unique aspect of this research was to analyse the engagement analytics to explore if a well-defined pattern can be observed to identify students who (i) do not put much effort into watching the videos (ii) are unable to answer knowledge checks correctly despite putting significant efforts. To provide a sense of belonging and immersion in the institute campus, a 3D walkthrough of basic labs used in this course was created for students who had not yet visited the campus. The flexibility offered by such pedagogies allowed students to focus on engaging with the material at their own convenience rather than worry about attendance in live classes.

The proposed pedagogy has been adopted through the following steps:

  • Creating instructional video lectures
  • Assigning the videos as interactive assignments with interleaved knowledge-checks
  • Monitoring the engagement with the videos with analytics
  • Utilizing the live sessions as per the timetable
  • Conducting online lab sessions on simulators
  • Continuous evaluation through quizzes
  • Student Feedback

Talking about the significance of Flipped Classroom, Dr. Rajlaxmi Chouhan, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Jodhpur, said, “Accommodating the needs of different types of learners is one of our foremost duties as instructors. A truly holistic, meaningful and enjoyable learning experience design focuses on ‘engagement’ instead of the traditional concept of attendance. We would continue to explore and develop innovative pedagogies and technology-assisted learning tools to train our young students into future proficient engineers and scientists.”

The unique feature of this pedagogy was the instructor-created video modules that were then assigned as interactive assignments to the students. The improvement of performance can be attributed to more effective utilization of the ‘beyond contact hours’ by the students due to monitored engagement with the study material. Bringing in elements of immersive 3D walkthroughs and discussion spaces and taking strategic measures to curb cheating in online exams also helped significantly in improving the learning experience.

The use of video-based flipped classroom blended learning with interactive video assignments has proven to be a significantly useful approach during distance learning, especially since it gives students the flexibility to access study material at a time of their convenience (within a certain deadline, of course), but at their own pace. The format of providing interactive video lectures as a flipped classroom study material has garnered the support of more than 80% of the students in the instructor’s courses.

In future, IIT Jodhpur researcher plans to extend the work by incorporating various other variables that contribute to learning, including retention and long-term skill development through immersive learning. Eventually, the end application is to create an ML-enabled platform that allows personalized tutoring assistance to students, instructor feedback and monitoring assistance, and seamless integration of e-learning material with immersive and interactive lab and discussion spaces where both instructors and learners can co-create and collaborate in knowledge sharing and skill development.