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A Multiple-institution Investigation of Student Perceptions of the Inverted Classroom in First-year Engineering Courses

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Technical Session 5: Using Video, Games, and More in the First Year

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.72.1 - 26.72.16



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Paper Authors


Krista M Kecskemety Ohio State University

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Krista Kecskemety is a Senior Lecturer in the Engineering Education Innovation Center at The Ohio State University. Krista received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University in 2006 and received her M.S. from Ohio State in 2007. In 2012, Krista completed her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State. Her engineering education research interests include investigating first-year engineering student experiences, faculty experiences, and the connection between the two.

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Gregory Warren Bucks University of Cincinnati

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Gregory Bucks joined the Department of Engineering Education in 2012. He received his BSEE from the Pennsylvania State University in 2004, his MSECE from Purdue University in 2006, and his PhD in Engineering Education in 2010, also from Purdue University. After completing his PhD, he taught for two years at Ohio Northern University in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science department, before making the transition to the University of Cincinnati. He has taught a variety of classes ranging introductory programming and first-year engineering design courses to introductory and advanced courses in electronic circuits. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, and ACM.

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Kerry L. Meyers Youngstown State University

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Dr. Kerry Meyers holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Education (B.S. & M.S. Mechanical Engineering) and is specifically focused on programs that influence student’s experience, affect retention rates, and the factors that determine the overall long term success of students entering an engineering program. She is the Director of the STEM College’s First-Year Engineering Program and formerly the director of First-Year Engineering at the University of Notre Dame). She is committed to the betterment of the undergraduate curriculum and is still actively involved in the classroom, teaching over half of the First-Year Engineering Students each semester.

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A Multiple Institution Investigation of Student Perceptions of the Inverted Classroom in First-Year Engineering CoursesThe inverted classroom model has increased in popularity and its many benefits and challengeshave been asserted.1,2 The theoretical framework for the inverted classroom approach is basedon Bloom’s taxonomy. Typically the lower-level Bloom’s taxonomy skills of remembering andunderstanding3 are completed prior to class, and the higher level Bloom’s skills can be completedin class. The inverted classroom model has many potential benefits that are noted in theliterature. Some of these include: make effective use of class time, make good use oftechnology, accommodate various learning styles,2,4 help students become self-learners,2 fosterlife-long learning skills,4 collaborative learning,4 personalize learning,5 and increase classroomengagement.5 While previous research has investigated student perceptions of the invertedclassroom,2,5 this paper seeks to address the following research questions that are focused onstudents’ perceived benefits: How do students perceive that they benefit from the invertedclassroom approach and what classroom approach do they prefer? Additionally, how does thischange at different institutions with different approaches to the inverted classroom model?Three Midwest institutions participated in different aspects of this study. The three universitieswere: • University A: a large, urban public university • University B: a large, urban public land grant university • University C: a medium, urban public universityEach institution uses an inverted classroom approach with first-year engineering students.At University A, a two semester sequence of courses are taken by first-year engineering studentsand focuses on developing problem solving and computing skills. In this class, students useMATLAB to solve a variety of problems incorporating ideas from engineering, calculus,physics, and chemistry. Students watch videos on the lecture material for the week outside ofclass and have the opportunity to test their learning by taking a practice quiz. In lecture, studentsare first given a quiz to ensure that they have reviewed the lecture material, after which theremaining lecture time is devoted to solving problems together as a class, in small groups, orindividually.At University B, the first semester of a two semester sequence taken by first-year engineeringstudents, focuses primarily on computer-aided problem solving using Excel and MATLAB. Thepreparation component, completed before class, involves pre-class learning activities such asvideos, reading assignments, and tutorials. Student completion of the preparation activity isevaluated through an online quiz or through a short assignment submitted at the beginning ofclass. The application component begins in the normal class period and includes a shortpresentation, in-class activities, and assignments.At University C, a partially flipped classroom model is implemented. As part of the First-YearEngineering Program, students take a 1 credit hour course to explore the different engineeringdisciplines at the institution. On a weekly basis, students focus on a different engineeringdiscipline through a hands-on activity during class. In preparation for such activities, studentsare required to watch a video on line about that engineering discipline. The videos are less than10 minutes in length and are focused on: curriculum, student involvement, and professionalopportunities.University A (N=689) and University B (N=927) gathered survey data at the beginning and endof the semester asking the students to rate their perceived benefits of the inverted classroomapproach on a 5 point Likert scale. While University C (N=203) did not administer questionsabout the benefits of the inverted classroom approach, all three universities asked students at thebeginning and end of the semester to select their preferred classroom approach: traditionallecture based, inverted classroom, or partially-inverted and partially traditional.As of abstract submission, preliminary data indicate that students at each university prefer amixture of the traditional classroom approach and the inverted classroom approach at thebeginning of the semester (A-71%, B-74%, C-67%). The final survey will be used at the end ofthe semester to investigate if students’ classroom approach preference changed. Additionally adetailed analysis will be performed with University A and University B’s survey data to see ifthere are any differences in the students’ perceived benefits.References1. J.F. Strayer. “How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation andtask orientation”, Learning Environments Research, vol. 15, 171-193, 2012.2. G. Mason, T.R. Shuman, and K.E. Cook. “Inverting (Flipping) Classrooms – Advantages andChallenges,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Society of EngineeringEducation, 2013.3. L.W. Anderson, et al. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. Addison WesleyLongman, Inc., Illinois, 2001.4. L. Bland. “Applying Flip/Inverted Classroom Model in Electrical Engineering to EstablishLife-Long Learning,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Society ofEngineering Education, 2006.5. M.W. Redekopp and G. Ragusa. “Evaluating Flipped Classroom Strategies and Tools forComputer Engineering,” in Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Society ofEngineering Education, 2013.

Kecskemety, K. M., & Bucks, G. W., & Meyers, K. L. (2015, June), A Multiple-institution Investigation of Student Perceptions of the Inverted Classroom in First-year Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23413

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