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*6 PAGE PAPER* Scaling for the Future: Development of a Sustainable Model for Teaching MATLAB Programming to STEM Students

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2017 Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference


Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

October 6, 2017

Start Date

October 6, 2017

End Date

October 7, 2017

Conference Session

Mid Atlantic Papers

Tagged Topic

Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference

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Paper Authors


Bradley J. Sottile The Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16

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Brad Sottile is Instructor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science within the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Engineering. Since receiving his Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, he has been teaching courses in Computer Science and in Aerospace Engineering for Penn State’s College of Engineering. His research interests include applied scientific computing, STEM teaching pedagogy, heuristic optimization techniques, spacecraft dynamics and control, and spacecraft trajectory design and optimization.

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Stephanie Cutler Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Stephanie Cutler has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her dissertation explored faculty adoption of research-based instructional strategies in the statics classroom. Currently, Dr. Cutler works as an assessment and instructional support specialist with the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. She aids in the educational assessment of faculty-led projects while also supporting instructors to improve their teaching in the classroom. Previously, Dr. Cutler worked as the research specialist with the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence Worldwide Campus (CTLE - W) for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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Alexa Kottmeyer

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Alexa Kottmeyer is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology at Penn State. She has an M.S. in Educational Psychology, an M.Ed. in Mathematics, and she has taught high school mathematics. Currently, she works as a Graduate Assistant with the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. Her research interests include the roles of conceptual and procedural knowledge, as well as the role of multiple representations, in high school and college level STEM learning and instruction.

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An undergraduate programming language course in MATLAB has experienced explosive enrollment growth over the last decade at the Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus. To adapt to the huge growth in enrollment, the course was redeveloped in stages over several semesters to create hybrid and online versions of the course. The evaluation model was also changed to shift focus away from periodic examinations to weekly assessments. Students completed end-of-semester teaching evaluations for the course, and some students also participated in focus groups to discuss the effectiveness of the course redesign. Student evaluation results showed statistically significant improvements in student evaluation scores in all areas evaluated except for those areas that related specifically to the course instructor. The results of this study demonstrated that flipped classrooms can not only help programs to manage their introductory programming course enrollments, but they also increase students’ perceptions of the quality of courses.

Sottile, B. J., & Cutler, S., & Kottmeyer, A. (2017, October), *6 PAGE PAPER* Scaling for the Future: Development of a Sustainable Model for Teaching MATLAB Programming to STEM Students Paper presented at 2017 Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference, Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--29364

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