A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of traditional university lectures versus flipped classroom in a statistics and epidemiology course at Oslo Metropolitan University

Last registered on December 31, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of traditional university lectures versus flipped classroom in a statistics and epidemiology course at Oslo Metropolitan University
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006440
Initial registration date
September 13, 2020
Last updated
December 31, 2021, 8:12 AM EST

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Oslo Metropolitan University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-09-21
End date
2022-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Background: Flipped classroom is a type of blended learning where students watch online lectures at home followed by working together in groups in the classroom with the teacher as a guide. It is called flipped because what is traditionally considered homework is now moved into the classroom, while the traditional lecture in the classroom is now moved home.
Aim: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of flipped classroom compared to traditional lectures in a statistics and epidemiology course at the pharmacy study program at Oslo Metropolitan University.
Method: The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial, where one group of students receives traditional lectures, while another group of students receives flipped classroom teaching. Primary outcome is exam grade. Secondary outcome is how satisfied the students are with the course.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Holm, Lene Berge. 2021. "A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of traditional university lectures versus flipped classroom in a statistics and epidemiology course at Oslo Metropolitan University." AEA RCT Registry. December 31. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6440-1.1
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention is the teaching in a statistics and epidemiology course at the pharmacy study program at Oslo Metropolitan University. We will evaluate the effectiveness of two different teaching methods. The two study arms are: A) traditional physical lectures at the university, and B) flipped classroom with access to a digital course combined with physical group-work seminars at the university.
Intervention Start Date
2020-09-21
Intervention End Date
2021-01-08

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome is the grade on the exam. The grades in Norway are A-F where A is best, and F is fail.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The grades A-F is a categorical ordinal variable. We will transform this variable to a continuous numerical variable (ratio data) by giving the grades the following values: A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=5, and F=6.
A two sample t-test will be done on the transformed exam grades in the two groups, or a Mann-Whitney U test if data is not normally distributed.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The secondary outcome will be the students’ satisfaction with the teaching. This will be measured through a questionnaire before the exam, so that the exam results do not influence the students’ satisfaction and attitudes towards the teaching-methods.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The following question in the questionnaire will be analyzed with a chi-square test:
• “All in all, I am satisfied with the teaching in this course”: Strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree
In addition, we will do t-tests (or a Mann-Whitney U test if data is not normally distributed) on the following questions:
• Mark on the scale from 1 to 10 for which teaching method you prefer, where 1 is most weight on traditional lectures, and 10 is most weight on flipped classroom
• Mark on the scale from 1 to 10 for which teaching method you think gives the best learning outcomes, where 1 is most weight on traditional lectures, and 10 is most weight on flipped classroom

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study follows a pragmatic randomized controlled trial design. The students will be randomized into one of the two groups after giving their consent to participate in the study. Students who does not consent to the study will be given traditional lectures together with group A, but will not be included in the analyses. If students withdraw from the study after being randomized to the flipped classroom group (B), they will be moved to the traditional lecture group (A). The analysis will be done based on an intention-to-treat (ITT) method. A per-protocol analysis might be done as a sub-study.
The study objects (the students) will not be blinded to the intervention, but the examiner will be blinded when grading the exam.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in Excel with the formula =randbetween(1;2) where 1 is group A and 2 is group B. The randomization process will be videotaped and hard-coded in Excel after randomization.
Randomization Unit
Students will be randomized individually
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
50 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
50 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group A: 25 students
Group B: 25 students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect size is considered to be one grade. In last years’ course the mean exam grade was 2.29 and the standard deviation was 1.15. We use this for the power calculations, and use an alpha of 0.05, beta of 0.2 and power of 0.8. This gives a sample size of 21 in each of the two groups.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
NSD – The Norwegian Center for Research Data
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-31
IRB Approval Number
204940