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Board #69 : Blended vs. Flipped Teaching: One Course - Three Engineering Schools

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27974

Download Count

37

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Paper Authors

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Renee M Clark University of Pittsburgh

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Renee M. Clark serves as research assistant professor focusing on assessment and evaluation within the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and its Engineering Education Research Center (EERC), where her interests focus on active and experiential learning. She has 25 years of experience as an engineer and analyst, having worked most recently for Walgreens and General Motors/Delphi Automotive in the areas of data analysis, IT, and manufacturing. She received her PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western while working for Delphi. She completed her postdoctoral studies in engineering education at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Autar Kaw University of South Florida

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Autar Kaw is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of South Florida. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching. The award is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate education.

Professor Kaw received his BE Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) India in 1981, and his degrees of Ph.D. in 1987 and M.S. in 1984, both in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University, SC. He joined the University of South Florida in 1987.

Professor Kaw’s main scholarly interests are in engineering education research, adaptive learning, open courseware development, bascule bridge design, fracture mechanics, composite materials, and the state and future of higher education.

Funded by National Science Foundation (2002-16), under Professor Kaw's leadership, he and his colleagues from around the nation have developed, implemented, refined and assessed online resources for an open courseware in Numerical Methods (http://nm.MathForCollege.com). This courseware annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube lectures, and 120,000+ visitors to the "numerical methods guy" blog.

Professor Kaw has written more than 85 refereed technical papers and his opinion editorials have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune and Chronicle Vitae. His work has been covered/cited/quoted in many media outlets including Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, U.S. Congressional Record, Florida Senate Resolution, ASEE Prism, and Voice of America.

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Yingyan Lou Arizona State University

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Dr. Yingyan Lou is an assistant professor in the Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering program in the School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment Engineering at Arizona State University. She holds a B.S. and a B.A.Econ degree from Beijing University, and received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Coastal Engineering from the University of Florida. Before ASU, she worked at the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Lou is very passionate about teaching and education research. In her teaching, she always emphasizes not just the “how” but also the “why” by providing background information on broader issues of the discipline and insights into theories and procedures. Dr. Lou has introduced active learning technologies (such as Clickers) to engage students more effectively during lectures and in-class examples. She also participated in a dissertation study about active learning in engineering disciplines when teaching at The University of Alabama.

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Andrew Scott Alabama A&M University

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Andrew Scott has been a faculty member with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, since 2002. He has a strong background in high-performance scientific computing, including algorithms and numerical analyses on parallel and distributed systems. He has expertise in the following areas: Field Programmable Gate Arrays for reconfigurable computing applications, software development for heterogeneous computing environments, domain decomposition, process mapping and data structuring techniques for distributed platforms, and finite element analysis. He holds both BS and MS degrees in mechanical/aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and PhD in computer science and engineering from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

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Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre University of Pittsburgh

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Dr. Mary Besterfield-Sacre is Nicholas A. DeCecco Professor in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Director for the Engineering Education Research Center (EERC) in the Swanson School of Engineering, and serves as a Center Associate for the Learning Research and Development Center. Her principal research is in engineering education assessment, which has been funded by the NSF, Department of Ed, Sloan, EIF, and VentureWell. Dr. Sacre’s current research focuses on three distinct but highly correlated areas – innovative design and entrepreneurship, engineering modeling, and global competency in engineering. She is currently associate editor for the AEE Journal.

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Abstract

Blended versus flipped instruction was compared during multiple semesters of a numerical methods course at three engineering schools with very diverse student demographics. This coincides with recent calls by the literature for comparisons of technology-enhanced or active learning pedagogies, versus the usual comparison of these approaches to traditional lecture. Therefore, each institution delivered the course in a blended and flipped format between 2014 and 2016. The blended approach combines technology-rich instruction with face-to-face learning to enhance the lecture. With “flipped” instruction, students “do work” during class after learning the fundamentals before class through videos or readings. The primary investigator had extensive experience teaching in a blended fashion. However, he anticipated that flipped instruction would require students to “dig deeper” and achieve more. Therefore, we conducted a quasi-experimental study to assess whether flipped instruction led to greater achievement, including for particular demographics. In addition, we hypothesized that classroom environment perceptions would differ and that students would perceive benefits with flipped instruction.

To directly assess these methods, we compared multiple-choice and free-response exam results. The multiple-choice questions were identical across the schools and for the instructional methods. We made this comparison for demographic segments of interest, including underrepresented minorities, females, Pell grant recipients, and community college transfers, as well as for students as a whole. The students rated their classroom environments using the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory and provided feedback via focus groups and an evaluation survey.

Based on combining data from the schools, blended instruction was associated with slightly greater achievement with the multiple-choice questions (i.e., lower-order skills) across multiple demographics, but the differences were not significant and the effects were small. With the free-response questions (i.e., higher-order skills), the combined results were mixed across the demographics, and there were small effects and non-significant differences. Interestingly, the free-response and classroom environment data aligned, with the blended approach showing more promise at two schools based on them, and the flipped approach doing so at the other. Based on the survey, although 48% did not prefer the flipped classroom to usual methods, 54% did prefer in-class problem solving to conventional lecture. The students identified high demands with the flipped classroom but cited benefits. In an open-ended question, the most frequent benefits were enhanced learning or learning processes, preparation and engagement, and active learning and questioning during class. These aligned with our focus group results and instructor interviews. Thus, although there were small differences with the combined exam and classroom environment data, the students qualitatively identified benefits with flipped instruction that were not captured by these assessments. Despite the small differences, there were some large differences in the exam and classroom environment results for the schools individually. This suggests the need for continued research with different demographics. Also, there may be a benefit to considering alternative measures besides exam scores. Our study is believed to be one of the few to rigorously compare technology-enhanced, active-learning approaches in STEM

Clark, R. M., & Kaw, A., & Lou, Y., & Scott, A., & Besterfield-Sacre, M. E. (2017, June), Board #69 : Blended vs. Flipped Teaching: One Course - Three Engineering Schools Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27974

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