431617 Scenari + Moodle = Self-Training Module for a Flipped Classroom in Distance Lifelong Learning or in Traditional Teaching

Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 9:46 AM
Alpine West (Hilton Salt Lake City Center)
Marie Debacq, Génie des procédés et ingénierie pharmaceutique, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France

The Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) is a public education institution dedicated to professional lifelong higher education established under the Convention in 1794 on a proposal by Abbe Henri Grégoire “to perfect national industry” and “illuminate the ignorance of he who does not know and the poverty of he who has no means of knowing”. Its mission is to provide continuing education open to all, anywhere.

The CNAM chemical engineering team started to offer its distance learning program in 2003; since 2007, 90% of the credits towards the engineering degree can be obtained at a distance; presence is compulsory only for experimental labs. Over the years, many tools have been tested, but until recently only traditional teaching practices were used. The experiment of flipped classroom described here took place in fall 2014.

This paper presents feedback on the first flipped classroom experiment in chemical engineering (applied fluid mechanics, pressure drop and pumps) at the CNAM. It is part of the increasing use of Information and Communication Technologies in Teaching (ICTT) in such courses over the last ten years. This is a turning point in the pedagogical approach, and this presentation will attempt to assess the potential of this strategy.

The self-training module was developed with the publishing chain ScenariOpale. The module is inserted in the learning environment Moodle which allows the use of discussion forums and the development of rich quizzes. Virtual classrooms organized with AdobeConnect complete the system.

This first experiment was overall judged to be very positive, with more in-depth acquisition of knowledge and skills. It came at the price of a substantial investment by the teacher and the ICTT engineers in this initial year of implementation, and required a special effort by students, who were not at all familiar with this approach; all the participants unanimously said that it requires more time than traditional teaching. Most appreciated it, however, stressing in particular their feeling of having understood and assimilated the course content better, although a small number expressed a preference for traditional teaching methods.

Much work is currently underway to improve the quality of the self-training module and to increase the number of activities. To support this effort, we have received funding from Unit (Digital University for Engineering and Technology); as a result, the system will be enriched with more content until summer 2015 and tested with various audiences during september 2015. We added in the self-training module numerous quizzes, videos available on YouTube and simulations proposed by LearnChemE. We have also developed our own animations and videos on educational plants.

This paper presents not only the feedback on the flipped classroom experiment in the context of distance lifelong learning, but also the feedback through more traditional teachings at several levels and for different audiences. We will discuss in particular Russell's no significant difference.

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See more of this Session: Best Practices of Online Courses and Virtual Environments
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