Learn before Lecture: A Strategy That Improves Learning Outcomes in a Large Introductory Biology Class

Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, 92697-1280, USA.
CBE life sciences education (Impact Factor: 1.89). 12/2010; 9(4):473-81. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.10-04-0063
Source: PubMed


Actively engaging students in lecture has been shown to increase learning gains. To create time for active learning without displacing content we used two strategies for introducing material before class in a large introductory biology course. Four to five slides from 2007/8 were removed from each of three lectures in 2009 and the information introduced in preclass worksheets or narrated PowerPoint videos. In class, time created by shifting lecture material to learn before lecture (LBL) assignments was used to engage students in application of their new knowledge. Learning was evaluated by comparing student performance in 2009 versus 2007/8 on LBL-related question pairs, matched by level and format. The percentage of students who correctly answered five of six LBL-related exam questions was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in 2009 versus 2007/8. The mean increase in performance was 21% across the six LBL-related questions compared with <3% on all non-LBL exam questions. The worksheet and video LBL formats were equally effective based on a cross-over experimental design. These results demonstrate that LBLs combined with interactive exercises can be implemented incrementally and result in significant increases in learning gains in large introductory biology classes.

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    • "Instead, with the use of technology and flipped learning, a teaching approach prominent in recent discussions pertaining to computer assisted language learning (CALL), an environment in which teachers have the opportunity to provide students with individualized instruction and feedback on their learning progress may be achieved. Researchers, such as Alvarez (2011) and Moravec et al. (2010), describe a flipped classroom as a teaching methodology in which practice exercises and assignments that are usually completed by students at home in a regular classroom are done during class under the individual guidance of the teacher. Conversely, lectures and textbook explanations, which would traditionally be performed by the teacher in front of the classroom with students listening, are instead recorded and made available to students via an online video sharing website, such as YouTube®. "
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