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Benefits of Active Learning Embedded in Online Content Material Supporting a Flipped Classroom

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Active learning in BME, Session II

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jean-michel I. Maarek University of Southern California

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Jean-Michel Maarek is professor of engineering practice and director of undergraduate affairs in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. His educational interested include engaged and active learning, student assessment, and innovative laboratories

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In the traditional flipped classroom paradigm, the course content is delivered online in advance of the classroom time, which is reserved for active learning applications. The paradigm does not prescribe the inclusion of active learning in the online content. We examined the impact of embedding quizzes in the online content which required students to immediately apply the lessons’ content for problem solving.

Our Medical Electronics course has been structured as a flipped classroom since 2014. In the 2017 offering, quizzes were embedded in the fourteen online lessons that support the course. Each lesson quiz comprised 3-5 short problems, formatted as free-response and objective questions. The students were told that attempting the quizzes would count for a small percentage of their overall course score. Every week, the students received an email message informing them of the topic to learn for the following week and indicating the video lesson to watch prior to attending class. The Camtasia software used to produce the online lessons generated worksheets listing the students’ responses to the embedded questions scored for correctness and a summary of each student score.

The worksheets generated between 10 days and two weeks after the email announcement were retrieved and analyzed for student participation and accuracy of the responses. The answers to the free response questions were screened to correct errors of the automated scoring system. Participation (1 if at least one question was attempted, 0 otherwise) and quiz score (0-100 with all questions weighed evenly) were recorded. Overall participation and score on the online quiz questions during the semester were tabulated and rescaled (0-100) for each student.

The students were assessed in the course with seven in-class quizzes (4 questions each) administered approximately every other week, one midterm exam (22 questions) and one final exam (35 questions). The quizzes and exam questions had a similar format to that of the objective problem-solving questions of the online quizzes. We examined the correlation between participation and score on the online quizzes and the average in-class quiz score, the midterm score, and the final exam score.

On average 33 +/- 9 students (72 +/- 20 % enrollment) participated in the embedded online quizzes, with the lowest participation observed just after spring recess and in the last week of the semester. Participation and score in the online quizzes were significantly correlated (R, p-value) with the scores on the in-class quizzes and on the exams.

Online quizzes Score class quiz Score midterm Score final Participation 0.315 (0.033) 0.310 (0.036) 0.269 (0.071) Score 0.399 (0.006) 0.482 (0.001) 0.437 (0.002)

Based on the time spent watching the online content, it was obvious that a few students jumped to the quiz without watching the lesson and attempted answering the quiz questions with little preparation, such that eliminating these students’ answers would likely strengthen the observed correlations. In addition, the addition of the on-line quizzes increased and sustained the viewership of the online content in comparison to that observed in prior offerings of the course.

We conclude that regular participation in the online quizzes prepared students to succeed in the summative assessment measures. Correctly applying the online content to answer the online quiz questions was even more important and determinant to the success of the students in the summative assessment. Including active learning improves learning of the online content in the flipped classroom.

Maarek, J. I. (2018, June), Benefits of Active Learning Embedded in Online Content Material Supporting a Flipped Classroom Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29845

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