Implementing a Studio-based Flipped Classroom in a First Year Astronomy Course

Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway, Michael Fitzgerald, David H. McKinnon

Abstract


We present a case study of a rapid transformation of 1st year elective astronomy coursean Astro101 subject from a traditional lecture/e+laboratory teaching approach to an entirely studio-basedstyle flipped teaching approach. Our Physics and Astronomy Collaborative Environment (PACE)The workshop studios at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University were designed along the lines of SCALE-UP approach (Biechner et al. 2008), with the pedagogy adapted to suit our course. In this paper, we outline the design, early evaluation and impacts of this transformation. In terms of content knowledge learning gain, we achieved a 0.41 mean gain with a 0.19 standard deviation on a custom hybrid concept inventory, mirroring the high gains seen in other physics and astronomy highly interactive courses. Most importantly, we achieved a dramatic reduction in failure rates from 11-15% between 2012-2014 to 4% in 2015. This study shows that a studio-based approach to tertiary introductory astronomy can be viable and successful.

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