An Empirical Study of Students’ Perception of and Key Factors Affecting Overall Satisfaction in an Intensive Block Mode and Flipped Classroom
Results of recent studies have suggested that intensive methods of delivery might improve engagement, attendance, and achievement for students from diverse backgrounds. Contributing to this area of inquiry, this study assesses how students perceived their experience studying a certificate course that was delivered in an online intensive block mode and flipped classroom (BMFC), pedagogy amidst COVID-19 restrictions. The subjects were students enrolled at Melbourne Institute of Technology between July 2021 and January 2022 across four certificate courses, three at postgraduate and one at undergraduate level. These certificate courses differed from normal degree courses in several aspects: (a) a shorter 4-week (undergraduate) or 5-week (postgraduate), instead of a 12-week duration, (b) subjects were taken sequentially instead of concurrently as in a normal semester, (c) taught using an online flipped classroom rather than the in-class approach, and (d) open to both high-school leavers and mature aged students who did not study full-time. A questionnaire involving 10 perception-based questions was used to survey students’ satisfaction with the BMFC delivery, in relation to their learning and engagement experience. The mean, median, and mode calculated from the responses revealed that students regarded the BMFC approach as more satisfied than not on a 5-star rating scale in 7 out of the 10 questions. This is further supported by high correlations among the questions (the lowest at r = 0.48 and the highest at r = 0.87). Multiple regression analysis using the first nine questions as predictors of the 10th question (overall satisfaction) revealed that six of these are statistically significant predictors (p < 0.05) of the overall satisfaction, implying that an increase in the overall satisfaction can potentially be achieved by improving these key factors of the BMFC delivered certificate courses. Our findings correlate with existing research that student learning and engagement might be improved by intensive modes of delivery. Furthermore, the BMFC pedagogy proposed in our study differentiates us from existing research, where block scheduling was used only in a face-to-face delivery in pre COVID-19 environment. Our study, therefore, contributes a novel delivery method for learning and teaching that is suitable for both online and face-to-face mode in a post COVID-19 era.
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