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Can Flipped Classrooms Be Utilized to Effectively Produce Successful, Engaged Engineering Students? A Comparison of an Online vs. Inverted Classroom through a Junior-Level Transportation Engineering Course

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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

Civil Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.320.1 - 26.320.55



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Paper Authors


Roxann Mackenzie Hayes P.E. University of Colorado, Denver

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Roxann is currently Civil Engineering Faculty in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) at CU-Denver (UCD). She has been teaching both graduate and undergraduate classes at UCD since 2011, including Advanced Highway Design, Highway Capacity Analysis, Transportation Impact Analysis, and Introduction to Transportation Engineering. She also teaches the Transportation Depth Professional Engineer (PE) Examination Refresher Review Course for Continuing Engineering Education Program. Ms. Hayes additionally serves as the undergraduate student advisor for Civil Engineering and the Dean’s Office.

Roxann received her M.Sc. in 2011 in Civil Engineering (Specialty in Transportation Engineering) in May of 2011. She also received her B.Sc. in 1995 from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in Engineering with a Civil Specialty and two minors in Environmental Engineering and Public Affairs.

Upon graduating from CSM, Ms. Hayes worked for over fifteen years in the private and government sector as a professional civil engineer. This included such companies as Larimer and Archuleta Counties, the City of La Porte (TX), Bayer Chemical and Exxon Chemical. She continues to run her own small consulting engineering business, conducting traffic impact studies. Roxann has a professional engineering license in the State of Colorado.

In 2005, she “retired” from full-time engineering to take care of her children and started working part-time as a lecturer and faculty advisor for CSM, teaching Mechanics of Materials and Senior Design. She has since left teaching at CSM to work full-time at UCD.

Roxann has served as the President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Colorado Section, and on the Board of Directors for the CSM Alumni Association.

Roxann was also recently named the 2015 College of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Faculty in Teaching. The award–a cash prize and commemorative plaque–will be presented to Roxann at the 2015 Year-End Celebration on May 15.

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Can Flipped Classrooms Be Utilized to Effectively Produce Successful, Engaged Engineering Students? A Comparison of an On-Line vs. Inverted Classroom through a Junior-Level Transportation Engineering CourseOne of the latest buzz words in engineering pedagogy is the concept of an inverted or “flipped”classroom. Students complete the lecture portion of the class on their own time by using videolessons prepared by the professor, and utilize the textbook and other materials as a study guide.Then, classroom time is dedicated to a more “hands-on” approach. These flipped classroomactivities include guided, independent practice or lab work, and group-based interactive learningactivities or inquiries.A literature review on flipped classrooms has shown that existing studies have two problems: They compare a flipped vs. traditional classroom strictly on a semester-by-semester basis. That is, a traditional classroom from semester one is compared to a flipped classroom during semester two. This introduces a wide variety of irregularities between the two semesters: test structure and content, professor interaction, lecture inconsistencies, and other variables. The existing studies do not examine student performance throughout the semester, or continue to evaluate their performance in later activities.In the Fall of 2014, two sections of junior-level CVEN 3602 – Transportation Engineering willbe taught. One of these sections is a traditional classroom, assigned to meet two days a week, at1.25 hours each day. This section will be “flipped.” The second section is an entirely on-linecourse.Within this controlled environment, the flipped classroom will be compared to an on-linesection. Both sections will be accessing the same video lectures, and will be given the samematerials for studying. Table 1 shows the similarities and differences between the two sections:“Flipped Classroom” Section On-Line Section Watch a 1.25 hour, twice weekly video  Watch a 1.25 hour, twice weekly video lecture. This will be a typical lecture: lecture. Powerpoint Slides, videos on  Office hours. transportation engineering topics, and  Tests. problems worked on a board.  Homework (same TA will grade both Office hours (available 2 hours a week sections). each by professor and TA). Homework submitted via Canvas, and graded by TA. “Flipped Classroom” activities during assigned class time Tests identical to on-line section, but given in classroom setting.Table 1: Comparison of Activities Between Flipped Classroom and On-line SectionThroughout the semester, student performance will be measured. The two sections will becompared with the exact same test material given on the same date. In addition, students willcomplete two self-assessments: a pre-topic and post-topic assessment. The research willconcentrate on the topic of geometric design (both vertical and horizontal curves).The students will continue to be evaluated (results not published as part of this study) in CVEN4602: Advanced Highway Engineering and the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam.Is a flipped classroom a better instructional technique to enhance student learning? This researchproject will help solve this question by comparing two sections in a statistically valid mannerduring the same semester.

Hayes, R. M. (2015, June), Can Flipped Classrooms Be Utilized to Effectively Produce Successful, Engaged Engineering Students? A Comparison of an Online vs. Inverted Classroom through a Junior-Level Transportation Engineering Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23659

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