# Blended Learning in Indian Colleges with Massively Empowered Classroom

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8 Mean exam score (±SEM) 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% CSE ISE Control CSE ISE Intervention Figure 2. Mean scores on cumulative review exam for control and intervention colleges broken down by department. 0.4 percentage points better in intervention colleges (see Figure 2). That is, ISE students performed almost as well as CSE students in intervention colleges. A detailed exploration of performance on each question indicated that two questions seemed to account for most of the difference in exam scores between control and intervention colleges. Figure 3 plots the difference between the percentage of intervention and control students that were correct for each question. Note that while most questions are close to zero, questions one and five stand out: more students in the intervention answered Q1 and Q5 correctly, by 17 percentage points and 9 percentage points, respectively. We performed a chi-square test of independence between intervention and performance on the first eight questions. To control for multiple comparisons, a Bonferroni correction was used to set α = Only questions one and five were significant. For Q1, χ 2 (1, N=934) = 24.7, p<<0.001, φ = 0.16, and for Q5, χ 2 (1, N=934) = 9.5, p<0.002, φ = While we are not certain why the two groups performed differently on these two questions, we speculate that it may be because these were the only two questions on the exam that required students to work through a piece of pseudocode. We discuss this in more detail below. DISCUSSION To our knowledge, this is the first study to show improved Score difference (Intervention - Control) 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% -5% * * Figure 3. Score difference (% correct) between intervention and control for each exam question. Differences for Q1 and Q5 are significant at p < learning outcomes for a blended learning intervention in India. We found that a relatively small number of group sessions with video content led by a student facilitator resulted in an overall improvement in a cumulative exam at the end of the course relative to a control. Even though the size of the effect is relatively small (an average of about 3.6 percentage points improvement), it is statistically reliable. While this difference in exam scores is very encouraging, there are a number of factors in our intervention that may have contributed to this effect. Though one might argue that many are integral to the blended learning initiative itself, it is worth pointing them out here. Several of these factors are similar to the confounds noted in the meta-analysis by Means, et al. [32]. While hardly exhaustive, we discuss some of the factors that one might argue contributed to the improvement in learning performance: 1) Novel pedagogy. Unlike the standard chalk and talk teaching style typical of Indian classroom instruction (where the teacher writes on the board and students copy into their books), MEC sessions with the PM were very interactive. Video watching was frequently interspersed (typically every few minutes) with classroom interaction completing problems, answering questions and emphasizing points. This served to keep the class engaged, except where problems or topics seemed too difficult for the class level. By making these sessions highly interactive, the PM capitalized on the full classroom experience of blended learning, including elements of competition, peer learning, humor and so on all of which served to make the classroom experience more engaging. While more investigation is needed it seems likely that this is one of the most important factors and is consistent with prior work [29]. 2) Novelty. Rather than the standard recitations and labs that students were used to, MEC sessions with the PM were a break in the routine. It is possible that this basic novelty was sufficient to cause students to pay a bit more attention than they otherwise would have. The difference between these sessions and normal lectures was a positive theme reported in the satisfaction survey. 3) Quality video material. The MEC videos were simply effective at communicating the content to students. 4) Personality of facilitator. The PM is a very outgoing and energetic person. His dynamism may have been enough to cause students to pay attention when they otherwise would have been drifting. 5) Peer effect. Instead of their normal professor, a peer (fellow student) discussed the material with them. 6) Company branding and certification. Our organization is very well known and an association with the company is likely to be very motivating for students. 7) Independent use of MEC. We actively evangelized the use of MEC outside of class and more students in the intervention colleges did use MEC on their own than in control colleges. It s possible that this use by the 50 or so

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