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Comparison of a Partially Flipped vs. Fully-Flipped Introductory Probability and Statistics Course for Engineers: Lessons Learned

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Works in Progress: Classroom Practice

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Natasa S. Vidic University of Pittsburgh

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Natasa Vidic is an assistant professor in the department of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a Ph.D. in industrial engineering in 2008. She has an M.S. in operations research from the University of Delaware (1992) and a B.S. in civil/transportation engineering from the University of Belgrade in Serbia (1987).
Before joining the faculty in 2010, Dr. Vidic was a visiting assistant professor. She also was the associate director of operations for the Engineering Education Research Center from January 2011 to September 2013. Her work experience includes two years as a project manager in the planning department of the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, and a research associate at the University of Novi Sad's Institute for Traffic and Transportation Engineering.
Dr. Vidic has published in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, including those of ASEE and INFORMS.
She currently is participating in collaborative research on improving engineering students’ learning strategies through models and modeling and is interested in the assessment and effectiveness of model-eliciting activities when implemented in the classroom. Her University of Pittsburgh research team is focusing on assessment and improvement in conceptual learning as well as problem solving, using a series of assessment instruments to better understand and measure the educational benefits.

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Renee M. Clark University of Pittsburgh

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Dr. Renee Clark has 23 years of experience as an engineer and analyst. She currently serves as the Director of Assessment for the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and its Engineering Education Research Center (EERC), where her research focuses on assessment and evaluation of engineering education research projects and initiatives. She has most recently worked for Walgreens as a Sr. Data Analyst and General Motors/Delphi Automotive as a Sr. Applications Programmer and Manufacturing Quality Engineer. 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. Dr. Clark has published articles in the Journal of Engineering Education, Advances in Engineering Education, and Risk Analysis.

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Comparison of a Partially Flipped vs. Fully-Flipped Introductory Probability and Statistics Course for Engineers: Lessons Learned

We implemented a fully-flipped classroom approach in the introductory probability and statistics course for engineers during the Fall 2015 semester in our school of engineering. In the Fall 2014, we implemented a partially-flipped “pilot” flipped classroom approach when we inverted one third of the course material. Based on our “pilot” results in terms of both direct measures of student learning as well as measures of the classroom environment, we were highly encouraged and motivated to implement the fully-flipped classroom approach. In our flipped classroom, students watched recorded lectures prior to the class time, and time in the classroom was replaced with more active instructional activities. This approach allowed the instructor to include problem solving elements and focus on difficult concepts, encouraged questions and more interactions, and exposed students to more realistic scenarios, while still covering required material. This course is a required course for civil, electrical, mechanical and bio-engineering majors in our school. Each semester we teach two or three sections of this course. Our class materials, including lecture notes, class activities, homework assignments and quizzes, were revised in order to implement the flipped classroom approach. As part of our program evaluation, the flipped and partially-flipped classrooms were observed for the degree of active learning, problem solving, and student engagement during class using a structured behavioral observation protocol known as the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP). We will compare students’ performance in the fully-flipped vs. partially-flipped classrooms; this will allow for direct assessment and comparison of a partially-flipped vs. fully-flipped approach for probability and statistics. The overall assessment will compare the two approaches based on the conceptual knowledge gains on the Statistics Concept Inventory by Allen et al., targeted ABET outcomes, student engagement, instructor interviews, and two perception instruments measuring students’ overall experiences in the class. These two instruments consist of Fraser’s College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) and a flipped-classroom evaluation survey, which we distribute to the students near the end of the semester. We will also compare the results to those of other flipped classrooms in our school of engineering, which have been implemented as part of our school-wide initiative to flip engineering courses.

Vidic, N. S., & Clark, R. M. (2016, June), Comparison of a Partially Flipped vs. Fully-Flipped Introductory Probability and Statistics Course for Engineers: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26529

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