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Cultivating critical thinking habits in Electrical Engineering flipped classrooms

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Conference

Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled

Location

Davis, California

Publication Date

April 30, 2020

Start Date

April 30, 2020

End Date

October 10, 2020

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36037

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

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Saharnaz Baghdadchi University of California, San Diego

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Saharnaz Baghdadchi is an Assistant Teaching Professor at UC San Diego. She is interested in scholarly teaching and uses active learning techniques to help students achieve expert-like level of thinking. She guides students in bridging the gap between facts and usable knowledge to solve complex engineering problems.

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Rachel Bristol University of California San Diego

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Rachel Bristol is a PhD candidate in UC San Diego’s Department of Cognitive Science, where she researches pragmatic aspects of expressing authority over knowledge in conversational interaction. She also works as a Graduate Teaching Consultant at UC San Diego's Engaged Teaching Hub where she is focused on learning and promoting evidence-based teaching practices.

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Leah Klement UC San Diego

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Paul Andreas Hadjipieris

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Paul Hadjipieris is an instructional designer at the University of California San Diego. He holds an MA, in history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. His research agenda is on emerging educational technologies and their application to the classroom. He is deeply involved in SoTL research at the University of California San Diego and currently working with faculty on course design and manuscript construction.

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Sheena Ghanbari Serslev University of California San Diego

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Dr. Sheena Ghanbari Serslev is the Associate Director of Engaged Teaching at the Teaching + Learning Commons at UC San Diego. Her research interests include creativity and learning, program assessment, and faculty development. She strives to create engaging and accessible environments that promote teaching and learning.

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Carolyn L Sandoval University of California, San Diego

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Dr. Sandoval is the Associate Director of the Teaching + Learning Commons at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a PhD in Adult Education-Human Resource Development. Her research interests include adult learning and development, faculty development, qualitative methods of inquiry, and social justice education.

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Abstract

Tackling complex engineering problems requires a skill-set that students can learn and achieve through proper training in learning environments that cultivate critical thinking. One of the particular courses in which mastery in learning requires higher-order thinking is the nonlinear electrical circuit course offered to electrical and computer engineering students. Since analyzing the operation of nonlinear circuits often requires making assumptions, verifying or rejecting the assumptions and drawing conclusions, students usually struggle with making a clear connection between different steps of the circuit analysis or applying these steps to solving new problems.

Within the framework of a fully flipped circuit course, we studied the effect of adding take-home tests to the course on the final exam grades of the enrolled students. The take-home tests were synthesis level circuit problems that were usually composed of a few distinct concepts learned in the course. Solving these problems required higher-order thinking, and students were encouraged to work on these problems in groups.

In addition to the total final exam grades, students’ scores on an exam problem that was specially designed to assess their abilities to solve conceptually challenging questions were included in this study. Students’ feedback on their perception of the effectiveness of the take-home tests on their learning was also collected in mid and end of quarter surveys.

The results of our study show that during the Fall and Winter quarters of the 2018-2019 academic year, the average final exam grade for students who took the take-home tests was 16% higher than the average for students who opted out of the take-home tests. Furthermore, out of the total students who correctly answered the conceptually challenging questions on the final exams of the Fall and Winter quarters, 68% and 65% had participated in the offered take-home tests, respectively.

Baghdadchi, S., & Bristol, R., & Klement, L., & Hadjipieris, P. A., & Serslev, S. G., & Sandoval, C. L. (2020, April), Cultivating critical thinking habits in Electrical Engineering flipped classrooms Paper presented at Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled, Davis, California. https://peer.asee.org/36037

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