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Developing and Implementing Effective Instructional Strategems in STEM

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.391.1 - 24.391.16



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Paper Authors


Khosrow Ghadiri San Jose State University

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K. Ghadiri is with the Electrical Engineering Department, San José State University, San José , CA, 95192-0084 USA (phone: 408-924-3916; fax: 408-924-3925; e-mail: k.ghadiri@
M. H. Qayoumi, is president of San José State University, San José , CA, 95192 USA (e-mail: Mo.Qayoumi@
E. Junn is provost and vice president of academic affairs at San José State University, San José, CA, 95192 USA (e-mail: ellen.junn@
P. Hsu is associate dean of College of Engineering at San José State University, San José, CA, 95192 USA (e-mail: ping.hsu@
S. Sujitparapitaya is associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics at San José State University, San José, CA, 95192 USA (e-mail:

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Developing and Implementing Effective Instructional Stratagems in STEM Khosrow Ghadiri, Mohammad H. Qayoumi, Ellen Junn, Ping Hsu and Sutee Sujitparapitay Striving for enriched content and better and more effective instructional delivery models are asincere desire of every faculty member. The advent of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)has opened new possibilities. One of the innovative ways of utilizing MOOCs, especially forchallenging subjects and more challenging courses, is as a “flipped classroom”. These newdelivery models can enhance student engagement, improve student retention, and reducesignificantly student failure rate. This is even more critical today with millennial students,because keeping their attention for a traditional 50 minutes in the lecture hall and having themlisten passively to their lecturer is not realistic. Currently in the U.S. only six percent of the 24-year-olds attain a first degree in a Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. The U.S. is ranked in the bottomquartile, 20th among 24 among the comparative nations. Unless we find new breakthroughs tosignificantly improve the success of students, especially in gateway courses, we will not be ableto increase the number of STEM graduates that are needed to maintain our economic vibrancy.Our experiment at San Jose State University bears a lot of hope as an effective approach that canenhance the success of engineering students in a major gateway course. Bloom (1984) suggested that a student grade improvement by the 2 sigma (two standarddeviations) results in an increase of passage rate from 65% to above 90%. The differentcomponents of active learning techniques and the percentage of their additive standard deviationswere considered over the past three semesters in an “Introduction to Circuit Analysis” course. Ablended model of learning by merging content from an online MOOC with in-class, team-basedinstruction as part of a required undergraduate circuit theory course was implemented in Fall2012 semester at SJSU. The central objective of this pilot was to examine how adaptation of thenew MIT edX 6.002x (Electronics and Circuits) MOOC-content in a flipped model of teachingmight improve student learning in a credit-bearing college course. Multiple objectives for thispilot included: (1) improve the department’s typical passage rate of 59% for this course; (2)improve students’ retention rate; (3) shorten students’ time-to-degree; (4) improve the quality ofthe content of the course; and (5) reduce the prerequisite contribution for successful passage ofsubsequent courses. Student pass rates from the blended Fall 2012 pilot jumped to 91%, ascompared to a 59% passage rate from the previous year’s traditional face-to face lecture class.Fall semester 2012 flipped classroom instruction was augmented with problem-based learning inSpring 2013 and passage rate was 86.5%. An in-class laboratory segment was added to theSpring 2013 version of the course to include the hands-on approach, thus forming its Fall 2013format. It appears that adaptation of high quality MOOC content using a blended approach and inconjunction with a highly structured in-class team-based, problem-based and hands-on approachcan produce significant benefits in improving significantly student learning and success.Additionally, Different components are provided to faculty to select from which allow them toachieve the 2 sigma improvement in their students grade.

Ghadiri, K. (2014, June), Developing and Implementing Effective Instructional Strategems in STEM Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20282

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