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A Study in Collaborative Learning in Flipped Class Environments

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Learning and Assessment in ME 1

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


James Canino Trine University

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Jamie Canino is currently an associate professor at Trine University where he focuses on undergraduate education research. He teaches in the thermal-fluids and aerospace engineering fields and can be reached at

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Brett Batson Trine University

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Dr. Batson has taught thermal sciences courses at Trine University in Angola, Indiana since 2006. Prior to that, he taught three years at Iowa State University as an adjunct professor. His non-academic experience includes automatic controls for process turbocompressors, gas and steam turbines, and patent prosecution. His interests include mathematics education for engineering students, tools and materials for supporting student learning, and general pedagogy.

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Those who teach know one of the best ways to learn is by teaching. One must understand a subject to impart knowledge of that subject to another.

Student collaboration should encourage students to teach one another. Thus, course material is cemented in the teacher’s mind, and the student being taught also benefits. It is hoped the taught becomes the teacher at another time on other topics.

A flipped classroom provides the instructor with ample time to engage the students in active learning and with each other. Before this study, the authors used their class time for quizzes, which served as formative assessments, and solving practice problems. The practice problems were solved by the students in informal groups. Many studies have shown the benefit of collaboration between students so the authors hoped to increase the amount of collaboration among students by assigning students to groups and quizzing them in these groups at the end of each week.

In order to test the group quizzing hypothesis, in Spring 2016, the authors conducted a study in two different courses, each having two sections, all taught in flipped mode. One section for each course was the control group. Collaboration was encouraged in the control group, but not formalized. In the study sections, after the middle of the semester, groups were chosen by the instructors. The groups worked as teams on practice problems, and took a group quiz at the end of the week. Groups were changed each week.

Assessment was by comparing changes in exam performance between the control and study groups and through a survey.

Comments in the survey indicated a change in student attitude when assigned to a group. Students revealed a desire to be supportive in their groups, and said they prepared accordingly – an encouraging result. However, less encouraging, students confessed to preparing less for group quizzes, knowing others in their groups would provide what they lacked. Exam scores did not indicate a significant difference between the control groups and the test groups.

Canino, J., & Batson, B. (2017, June), A Study in Collaborative Learning in Flipped Class Environments Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27517

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