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Effects of Alternative Course Design and Instructional Methods in the Engineering Classroom

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32693

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32693

Download Count

110

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Paper Authors

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Lindy Hamilton Mayled Arizona State University

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Lindy Hamilton Mayled is the Director of Instructional Effectiveness for the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She has a PhD in Psychology of Learning, Education, and Technology from Grand Canyon University. Her research and areas of interest are in improving educational outcomes for STEM students through the integration of active learning and technology-enabled frequent feedback. Prior to her role and Director of Instructional Effectiveness, she worked as the Education Project Manager for the NSF-funded JTFD Engineering faculty development program, as a high school math and science teacher, and as an Assistant Principal and Instructional & Curriculum Coach.

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Lydia Ross Arizona State University

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Lydia Ross is a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant at Arizona State University. Her research interests focus on higher education equity and access, particularly within STEM.

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Casey Jane Ankeny Northwestern University

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Casey J. Ankeny, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University. Casey received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2006 and her doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in 2012 where she studied the role of shear stress in aortic valve disease. Currently, she is investigating cyber-based student engagement strategies in flipped and traditional biomedical engineering courses. She aspires to understand and improve student attitude, achievement, and persistence in student-centered courses.

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Jay Oswald Arizona State University

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Dr. Jay Oswald is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy at Arizona State University. Dr. Oswald obtained his bachelor's (2004) and master's (2005) degrees in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. From 2005 to 2006, he was a consultant for NASA Glenn Research Center, where he worked on the mechanical response and space environment effects on elastomeric docking seals. He received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University in 2011. At ASU, Dr. Oswald's research focuses on the computational modeling of mechanics of materials, especially failure processes such as fracture and plasticity in semicrystalline polymers.

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Abstract

This work-in-progress paper reports on the effects of alternative course design and instructional methods in the engineering classroom. The primary method of delivery in undergraduate engineering classrooms remains the traditional lecture format, or teacher-centered instruction, despite evidence that active learning, or student-centered teaching practices, are significantly more effective. Catalyzed by the overwhelming research support for more active learning methods and the promise for creating these opportunities through alternative course models, there has been a more recent shift towards experimentation in delivery and course structure, including strategies such as flipping course content. Flipped course design allows instructors to maintain delivery of critical theoretical and background information by presenting this material to the students outside of formal classroom time, thus preserving time in-class for more active learning and problem-based activities. The flipped learning course design continues to gain popularity in engineering education; however, large-scale quantitative statistical analysis of student outcomes and achievement in courses taught simultaneously through alternative course designs remains limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of these varied instructional methods by investigating the student achievement outcomes of engineering students enrolled in the same course taught through three different instructional models. The study also aims to assess more specific flipped course design components (video lectures) on student outcomes as well as to evaluate the data through the context of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) and Constructivist theoretical models. Beginning in the fall of 2018, a 200-level mechanical/aerospace course, Statics, was taught by three different faculty members at a large university in the Southwest. Each of these sections were taught in different ways: (a) traditional lecture format, (b) flipped style classroom, and (c) mixed version, which utilized videos created for the flipped classroom as supplemental material but delivered course content primarily through lecture style. Student-level data were collected for all three of the Statics sections of interest in this study. Data were analyzed to determine if students enrolled in flipped or mixed sections experienced improved achievement outcomes greater than their traditional-lecture peers. Initial data showed that the mixed course design had the greatest impact on student achievement as measured by grade distribution, DEW rates, and student performance on class assignments, quizzes, and exams. The flipped and mixed courses were associated with greater improvement for DEW rates, in comparison to the traditional lecture course. Additional data analysis may provide further insight into how specific flipped delivery components, such as video lectures, impact student achievement.

Mayled, L. H., & Ross, L., & Ankeny, C. J., & Oswald, J. (2019, June), Effects of Alternative Course Design and Instructional Methods in the Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32693

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