In spring 2019, I will be teaching a master's level course in applied statistics for students in economics and management. The main topics are linear regression, explanatory and confirmatory factor analysis and clustering. The course is part of a study programme that is organized in a peculiar way. The classes are lumped together in 2-day or 3-day chunks with 3-week breaks in between. So the schedule is something like this
For k between 1 and 4: Week k : independent work, no classes Week k+1: independent work, no classes Week k+2: independent work, no classes; mandatory homework to be delivered on Thursday Week k+3: classes on Monday, Tuesday (if k is even, then also Wednesday)
Each class is 45+45+45 minutes (with two short breaks in between). Since there are four main topics, there probably will be one topic per 4-week cycle with two or three lectures of 45+45+45 minutes. The question is,
Which of the following two approaches to teaching is likely to work better?
- "Traditional approach"
Present the theoretical material in class. Show some examples of solving exercises. Give the students some time (perhaps 45+45 minutes) to work on example exercises in class with opportunities to get help.
For the homework assignment, ask them to solve some exercises and answer some key questions about the topic presented in class. Before the next class, post a solution online.
- "Inverted approach"
As a homework assignment before the class, ask the students to read new material, answer some key questions about the topic and solve some exercises.
In class, present the same material briefly and discuss what they have read and solved. Show some examples of solving exercises. Give the students some time (perhaps 45+45 minutes) to work on example exercises in class with opportunities to get help.
This may sound complicated, but the main difference between the two approaches is when the students encounter new material first and when they independently solve the exercises related to the topic.
- In the traditional approach, they first learn the new material in class and then practice it independently after the class.
- In the inverted approach, they learn the new material and practice it independently before the class.
Somewhat related question: "Master's-level Quantitative Methods / Statistics textbook for Management, Marketing, Economics students".