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A Flipped Classroom Experience: Approach and Lessons Learned

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Flipping ECE Courses

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.50.1 - 24.50.10

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Paper Authors


Rafic Bachnak Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

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Rafic A. Bachnak is a professor of electrical engineering and director of the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Penn State, Harrisburg. Previously, he was on the faculty of Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. Dr. Bachnak received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the U.S. Navy Laboratories, and employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Sofía Carolina Maldonado Texas A&M International University

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Sofía Carolina Maldonado is a graduate student at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), currently completing an M.S. in information systems. She obtained her B.S. degree in systems engineering from TAMIU in the fall of 2011, when she was recognized as a Distinguished Student Scholar and Student Respondent at the fall 2011 commencement ceremony. Throughout her TAMIU education, Sofia has been a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and vice president and treasurer of the Society of Engineering at TAMIU. In addition, she was a research assistant for the project “Topography of an Object: Detection and Display (Software and Hardware)” and was project manager of the engineering senior project design entitled “New Classroom Propulsion Demonstrator.” She is presently a special program aide at the department of engineering, mathematics, and physics at TAMIU.

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A Flipped Classroom Experience: Approach and Lessons LearnedAbstractData compiled by ACT (American College Testing) shows that the National first- to second-yearaverage retention rate in 4-year public institutions is around 65% while the mean for the National5-year graduation rate of 4-year public institutions is around 40%. While a number of issuesaffect student success, the area of greatest concern is student retention. Studies have shown thatstudents are more likely to stay in college if they have clear goals, are active learners, and areactive participants in classroom activities. In other words, students learn more when they areintensely involved in their education and have opportunities to apply what they are learning.Students also benefit when they are engaged in the teaching and learning of their peers, such asgroup work, peer review, study groups, and peer teaching in- and out-of class. Flipping theclassroom is a relatively new active learning technique that faculty at many institutions haveincorporated in their teaching. In a flipped classroom, laboratory and in-class activities replacetypical class-lectures. Lectures are normally delivered over some other medium such as videoon-demand or podcasts. However, there is no specific model for flipped classrooms, it simplydraws on such concepts as student engagement, hybrid course design, and course podcasting.This paper describes how the flipped classroom technique was incorporated into a three-creditelectrical engineering course that meets twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday. At the beginningof the semester, students formed study groups of three or four each. Students were expected toreview and understand assigned work prior to coming to class on Tuesday. At the beginning ofclass, the professor briefly reviewed the assigned material and answered a few questions.Afterwards, students took a short open-book quiz based on the assigned material. Quizzes werethen graded while students got together and helped each other master the assigned material andsolve related exercises. During the last 15 minutes of class, quizzes were returned to students andthe solution was explained. Thursdays were mainly used to go over homework solutions, clarifyconcepts students were having difficulty with, and answer questions. The paper will presentdetails about this course, discuss student survey results, and describe plans to improve thedelivery of this and similar courses. 1  

Bachnak, R., & Maldonado, S. C. (2014, June), A Flipped Classroom Experience: Approach and Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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