I feel the need to know whether what I introduce in and outside class room (i.e. Traditional Learning Environment (TLE) and Personal Learning Environment (PLE)) bring benefits to my students. Traditional Learning Environment (TLE) is referring to the face to face lectures that occur in class and tutorial rooms. On the other hand, PLE refers to the learning that happens outside classroom where students conduct independent learning before coming to lecture (i.e. flipped classroom). I also feel the urge to know whether students accept or against what I have introduced. Another important matter that I always feel crucial to know, is whether they learnt and gain knowledge from what I have transferred and shared.
Therefore, to know whether they gain knowledge from the PLE and TLE introduced, I gathered feedback from my students. These are the real evidences that would make me improve myself for the better (I always tell myself that!). In gathering feedback, I conducted surveys and formal interviews with the help of my tutor. I also conducted a few informal discussions with students who would like to share opinions on my style of teaching. I did look at their performance between groups of students who followed my PLE and TLE.
Some of the evidences collected are shared below.
During the first few semesters when I introduced PLE and TLE into my teaching, I really feel the need to know whether students could accept PLE or I should just stick to TLE. Therefore, there are few rounds of data collection conducted to few students of mine in different groups. Since it was the first few times I combined the PLE and TLE, I really wanted to know whether they learn and gain knowledge from these styles of teaching. For this particular case, I have divided the group into two which are (i) students who go through PLE and (ii) students who go through TLE. I look at their performance and collect more data at a later stage.
Figure 6.1: Students’ score based on a test conducted between TLE group vs PLE group
Referring to this particular test shown in Figure 6.1, data was further analyzed as shown in Table 6.1. The table shows data that has been collected from the two different groups of students (TLE vs PLE). These data shows that more than 60% of PLE students scored full marks in the test, while about 48% of students scored full marks in the TLE group. Nevertheless, the other distribution was found almost similar between the PLE and TLE group.
Table 6.1: Students’ score based on a test conducted between TLE group vs PLE group
In another case, I conducted an evaluation based on individual project given. Students were divided into two groups (i) TLE group to complete the project and (ii) PLE group to complete the project with minimal supervision, but extra materials were given to them. Next, in another individual project, the students were switched. The group that has undergone TLE is now being grouped to the PLE group and vice versa. Final project marks for both projects were collected as shown in Figure 6.2. The figure is showing each individual projects marks when students completed the TLE project and PLE project. Data were then further analyzed as shown in Table 6.2.
Figure 6.2: Students’ score based on individual project completed in TLE group and PLE group
Referring to the graph shown in Figure 6.2, there are 14 students who scored the same marks in both of their projects (i.e. TLE and PLE projects). On the other hand, 6 students scored better in their TLE projects as compared to the PLE projects. I also found that more students which is 12 of them scored better in their PLE projects than their TLE projects. Data are further analyzed as shown in Table 6.2.
Table 6.2. Students’ score based on individual project completed in TLE group and PLE group
|Scored better in Project TLE than Project PLE
Project TLE > Project PLE
|Scored the same marks for both projects
Project TLE = Project PLE
|Scored better in Project PLE than Project TLE
Project PLE > Project TLE
In terms of percentage, majority of the students (i.e. 43.75 percent) scored the same marks for both their TLE and PLE projects. Although they are given different titles of each projects to be completed in TLE and PLE, and working in different environment (i.e. PLE and TLE), it seems that it does not affect their work to be delivered. Another group of students which is about 37.50 percent seems to work better in delivering their projects when in PLE as compared to TLE. Only a small number of students (i.e. 18.75%) works better in their projects when in TLE as compared to working in PLE.
Besides test and projects, I have conducted a quiz on a given topic to know how students perform during PLE vs TLE. The topic was given earlier, a group of students were selected to be attending lectures and tutorial covering that topic (i.e. TLE). Another group of students were given materials to be studied on their own whether individually or in groups before attending the lecture. They were given their own freedom to conduct their own study groups and may use other reference materials as well for that topic (i.e. PLE). A quiz was then conducted to test on their knowledge and understanding. These two different groups of students were then switched. Another topic was then given on the following week. The same procedure takes place, which are learning through TLE and PLE for those different group of students. The quiz results were collected as shown in Figure 6.3.
Figure 6.3. Students’ quiz results (TLE vs PLE)
Based on the data collected shown in Figure 6.3, I could summarize that majority of the students (i.e. 17 of them) scored better when given the opportunity to learn in PLE rather than in TLE. Seven of them scored better when learning in TLE as compared to PLE. 6 of them scored the same marks during both tests when learning in TLE and PLE. In terms of percentage, it could be seen in Table 6.3 that majority of them (i.e. about 57%) scored better in their quiz after undergoing PLE. Only approximately 23% of the students scored better when learning in TLE.
Table 6.3. Students Quiz Results (TLE vs PLE)
|Scored better in Quiz TLE than Quiz PLE
Quiz TLE > Quiz PLE
|Scored the same marks for both quizzes
Quiz TLE = Quiz PLE
|Scored better in Quiz PLE than Quiz TLE
Quiz PLE > Quiz TLE
Based on some of the data collected above, it shows interesting data on how students perform based on the TLE and PLE delivery. I find that it is something that I should reflect on. I could not make a conclusion that PLE is better than TLE and vice versa.
Therefore, after conducting PLE and TLE in my teaching delivery to few groups of students in different semesters and courses; I realized that there is a need to conduct both TLE and PLE in teaching and learning. It should be coupled together and not to be conducted alone or separately. In other words, TLE is needed and accompanied by PLE. Therefore, students get a balance of both. This will apply to all type of students. They need to conduct PLE before coming to class/ lectures to understand the fundamental concept. In lectures (i.e. TLE) they could then find solutions to problems and creatively think about way to apply the concept to other related cases.