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An Intervention in Engineering Mathematics: Flipping the Differential Equations Classroom

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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

Mathematics Division Technical Session 1

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Paper Authors


Campbell Rightmyer Bego University of Louisville Orcid 16x16

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Campbell Rightmyer Bego is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Cognitive science at the University of Louisville. She is researching STEM learning, focusing on math learning and performance. She is particularly interested in interventions and teaching methods that alleviate working memory constraints. Ms. Bego is also working with the Speed School of Engineering as a graduate research assistant, helping to implement educational interventions and organize and facilitate ongoing research on retention. Ms. Bego is a registered professional mechanical engineer in New York State.

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Patricia A. Ralston University of Louisville

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Dr. Patricia A. S. Ralston is Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals at the University of Louisville. She received her B.S., MEng, and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville. Dr. Ralston teaches undergraduate engineering mathematics and is currently involved in educational research on the effective use of technology in engineering education, the incorporation of critical thinking in undergraduate engineering education, and retention of engineering students. She leads a research group whose goal is to foster active interdisciplinary research which investigates learning and motivation and whose findings will inform the development of evidence-based interventions to promote retention and student success in engineering. Her fields of technical expertise include process modeling, simulation, and process control.

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Il Young Barrow University of Louisville

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IL Young Barrow is the QEP specialist for assessment at the University of Louisville. He specializes in knowledge around national assessment instruments (e.g. NSSE, CIRP, CAAP), assessment of student learning outcomes, retention studies, and various data analyses related to student success. IL also has wide-ranging experiences in undergraduate teaching, academic advising, and graduate admissions and student services.

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A flipped classroom design was implemented in the Differential Equations (DE) for Engineering course at the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Student performance and completion rates were compared to a previous control semester of the course, and student satisfaction was measured. Overall, there were significantly fewer W’s (Withdrawals) in the course, meaning a significant improvement in course completion. Additionally, results showed significantly higher performance in non-First Time students, or students that were repeating the course. As DE is a required course for graduation, increasing student performance and decreasing W’s will improve graduation rates and is of great value to the university. Student satisfaction with the course format was slightly below average, however as this was the first implementation of the flipped design, it is expected that future semesters with slight modifications will be able to improve on this baseline.

Bego, C. R., & Ralston, P. A., & Barrow, I. Y. (2017, June), An Intervention in Engineering Mathematics: Flipping the Differential Equations Classroom Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27581

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