iFlip Adult Learners Needs Analysis Report

The Adult Learners Needs Analysis Report (ALNAR) is an activity agreed by all iFlip partners and its purpose is to inform the partners of the current developments related to flipped classroom awareness and practices, and of the existing preferences among learners and trainers/educators on learning/teaching pathways and approaches. The ALNAR was planned in 4 focus quadrants: learners and their needs, trainers/educators and their teaching practices, case studies and good practice models, and flipped classrooms methods in use. The first two focus quadrants were attempted by means of online surveys, and this webpage presents our conslusions from processing the surveys’ responses datasets.

Learners’ survey: results and conclusions

The total number of respondents in this survey is n=220 with all partners reaching or exceeding the required sample size. Slovenia is overrepresented in the survey, but analyses found no significant correlation between country of origin of respondents and their answers, meaning that we can accept the results of the aggregated sample as valid. Six factors exhibit a positive correlation between the country of origin and the learning factors – 3 of them show weak correlaion in the lower end (0.20 to 0.22) and the other 3 show correlation up to the top end of the weak range (0.27 to 0.36).

Gender distribution shows 27% males and 73% females.

Age distribution provides sufficient responsed in all major age groups. However, calculated correlation reveals no significant dependencies between age and learning factors on which the survey is focused. Only 3 of the studied factors exhibit a negative correlation with age between -0.20 and -0.30 (weak) with all other factors having a correlation between 0 and +/-0.20 (very weak).

Fourty-nine per cent of the respondents have HE (Bachelor, Master, or Ph.D). Thirty-one per cent have vocational education and training – at secondary education level combined with a vocational degree, or at post-secondary vocational training level.

Five of the 19 learning factors show weak correlation to the frequency of learning activities. Only 3 learning factors correlate (weak) to the educational attainment level of the respondents. As for the frequency of additional learning activities, the results show that just over 30% have participated in several (one every few years or so) learning activities in the last 10 years. A similar but slightly lower share of respondents (28%) have done this once or twice. Another 10% responded with “once per year”, and 21% with “more than once per year”. If we were to aggregate the last two groups, we would come to a balanced distribution of about 30% each among the three main answers – (1) one every few years, (2) once or twice, and (3) once or more than once per year. A mere 7% said they did not participate in additional learning in the last 10 years at all.

Learning factors survey data was statistically processed to obtain (1) a nominal scale value (scale between -2 and +2), and (2) a sum of squares of the deviations from the mean. A combination of the two values provides insight into which learning factors gather (1) positive responses and (2) greater consensus among respondents. There are 11 factors which have a nominal scale value of 1.00+ and a distinct consensus in the answers (corresponding to a numeric value along the x-axis of less than 200.

A. I like learning new things
S. I like to be able to track my own progress and measure achievements
F. I like to set my own learning pace
H. I prefer to have time to explore and reflect upon new ideas
L. I like sharing my opinion on things I have read, listened to, or seen
C. I like to have control over the learning process
E. I like lively discussions in class
D. I like to take initiative and construct my own learning path, given some guidelines
I. I like to have additional materials and resources along the main training texts/content
R. I like to set my own learning goals
B. I usually learn fast and with ease

In addition, there are 3 factors which have an intended negative connotation in their wording, which was meant to make sure respondents do actually read carefully all questions and consider attentively all factors which they have been presented for assessment. We suggest that the following 3 factors be taken in consideration as they have distinct scale values indicating disagreement (on a negative statement), which should translate in a positive solution. These 3 factors have a scale value of well below 1.00 (0.22-0.39) However, the consensus is rather low (sum of squares of over 300), hence our suggestion that they be considered, but not be placed center-stage.

G. When in class, I like to sit quietly and listen
J. Having too many training content sources upsets me
Q. When I can’t keep to-date with assignments and learning deadlines, I tend to lose motivation for learning

 

Number of respondents by country

Gender distribution

Age groups

Educational attainment level

Frequency of additional learning undertaken by the respondents in the last 10 years

Learning factors (Rating 2, Consensus value)

Learning factors (Rating 1, Scale value)

Combined learning factors diagram

 

Adult trainers & educators’ survey: results and conclusions

The total number of respondents in this survey is n=96. With an agreed sample of 5 per country, Italy is slightly below the target (n=3), with Slovenia (n=40), Belgium (n=24), and Bulgaria (n=18) more than offsetting this. Netherlands and Italy are on target.

Gender distribution shows 27% males and 73% females.

Age distribution provides sufficient responses in all major age groups. Almost half (47%) of the respondents fall within two age groups in the 35-44 years range.

When answering a question on whether in their current teaching occupation the respondents have freedom of choice as to the teaching methodology, 76% say they have complete freedom, 20% say they need approval from the administration, and only 4% have a prescribed methodology to follow with no freedom. This distribution outlines an excellent pool of trainers and educatiors for iFlip to target and work with, and we recommend that partners revisit their survey announcement strategy and try to identify the trainers (and the organisations they teach at) to attempt and involve them at the next steps of iFlip project. A share of 3/4 stating they have full flexibility on the choice of methodology suggests easier access to future experimentation and experimentation data.

Looking at the question which purpose was to establish if and how far in the implementation of the FC method respondents are, we found that about 18% already use it, and another 23% are immediately ready to use it (“I know what it is and how to use it”). This brings a combined share of 41% of trainers/educators who would be ready and able to work with FC with some assistance on the content part from iFlip. Yet another 11.5% seem to be in need of some additional training on the practical aspects, as they claim that they “know what FC is, but not how to use it”. A remarkably high share of respondents (just over 28%) have but heard of the term. They could become interested in FC provided adequate and sufficient training is provided both on theory and practice. And another share of almost 20% have no clue at all what FC means.

The most interesting question is a matrix-type question asking respondents to rate different statements regarding their own teaching style and approach. Interestingly, the results show no or very weak correlation levels with age or with the degree of familiarity with the FC concept. However, careful study of the numbers indicated that there may be a stronger correlation when we consider the country of the respondents. We measured this as moderately strong (0.4-0.6) in 3 factors and as strong (0.6-0.8) in 1 factor. Due to the small sample sizes per country, we could not derive statistically significant results for all countries, but we were able to do this for Slovenia (n=40), for all countries except Slovenia (n=56), and compare these with the results from the aggregated sample (n=96). We have summarised our findings in the table below, and the result is also graphically depicted at the end of this page. Because this question is tightly bound to the training approaches which we will discuss and integrate in the pilot iFlip FC courses, we are also attaching a spreadsheet with additional statistics for all the factors [training-factors-datasets.xls], namely shares by type of response (and also arranged in 3 datasets – all data, all data except Slovenia, and Slovenia only). We recommend that partners go through these simple datasets and consider the answers in the context of the sample of respondents which they targeted with the survey. We would also recommend that partners make a decision on a reasonable minimum threshold for the training approach/factor to be included in their FC course design, perhaps somewhere in the range 1.25-1.50 (see the last graph on this page). It should be stressed that while the iFlip courses will be designed with the FC approach in mind, the survey only shows what the teachers’ current practice is (which may, or may not, necessarily cover all FC course requirements. However, a closer match between the current practice and the future course requirements would ensure smoother take up and lower resistance to change.

training-factors-all
Summary of training approaches/factors. Highlighted rows show moderately strong (0.4-0.6) to strong (0.6-0.8) correlation between responses and country of respondents.

 

Number of respondents in the trainers’ survey

Gender distribution of respondents

Age distribution of respondents

Educational level at which respondents teach

Qualification (teaching-related) of respondents

Freedom to use a teaching method

Flipped Classroom

Use of teaching approaches/factors