Objective: We describe a change in teaching method from extended face-to-face instruction to a blended classroom environment in a research methods course and compare student scores following a change in assessment from mid-term examination to weekly quizzes.
Methods: The course traditionally had been taught using a weekly 2-hour lecture for each academic term. A change in teaching methods was designed to include 20 minutes of lecture followed by 30 minutes of topic-specific in-class group discussions. The students then continued group work for an additional hour at an alternative location of their choice, such as the library, café, student study areas, or at home. Student homework/reading assignments were given as topics for weekly group discussions. In addition, the midterm examinations were replaced with weekly quizzes. Using t-test and analysis of variance, scores for four student cohorts in two successive academic terms were compared using identical multiple-choice questions from the midterms and quizzes for two topics. Student verbal feedback was elicited at the end of each term.
Results: Quiz scores showed significant improvement over midterm scores for the more challenging statistics multiple-choice questions (t = −2.21, p = .03, d = 0.23) with no significant improvement in multiple-choice questions about the safety of human subjects (t = −.401, p = .69, d = 0.04). Student verbal feedback indicated higher satisfaction with the blended classroom and experiential learning style.
Conclusion: Assessment using quizzes in an early and often format, instead of a midterm examination, was associated with higher scores on identical questions. Students preferred the blended classroom environment with experiential learning exercises and weekly quizzes.
Author keywords: Teaching Methods, Educational Activities, Learning, Chiropractic
Author affiliations: SGBS: Life University Center for Chiropractic Research, Marietta, GA, USA: KH: Life University, College of Chiropractic, Division of Chiropractic Sciences; LP: Life University
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