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Experimental Cross Hybrid Course Formats

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.608.1 - 14.608.8



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Paper Authors

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David Meyer Purdue University

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Cordelia Brown Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Experimental Cross-Hybrid Course Formats


In a previous paper we described a hybrid course format in which the "lecture content" for core sophomore- and junior-level ECE courses was delivered via on-line streaming video and the regularly-scheduled class meeting times were used for instructor-directed, collaborative problem solving sessions, referred to as “directed problem solving” (DPS). Traditional lecture (TL) divisions of each course were offered simultaneously, to provide students an opportunity to select the course format they felt best matched their individual learning style. In this study, we consider two “cross-hybrid” variants of these: traditional lecture with integrated problem solving (TL-IPS), and directed problem solving with lecture summary (DPS-LS). Initial trials comparing outcome assessment and exit survey results for these formats are presented. The preliminary results demonstrate the viability of the various course delivery options, and provide a general indication of student preferences.


The goal of our previously reported work1 was to compare the relative effectiveness of the “traditional lecture” format with non-traditional “hybrid” course formats, specifically in which the roles of in-class and outside-of-class activities were largely “reversed”. So-called “inverted” course formats were originally created for two core computer engineering classes at Purdue: a sophomore-level Introduction to Digital Systems Design course, and a junior-level Microprocessor System Design and Interfacing course. Both of these are 4-credit hour courses that include an integrated laboratory.

In the non-traditional formats, the basic lecture content was delivered asynchronously via streaming video, while collaborative solving of homework problems accompanied by a detailed walkthrough of their solutions was done synchronously (i.e., during scheduled class periods) – which we refer to as directed problem solving (DPS). Traditional assigned (outside-of-class) written homework was replaced by collaborative problem solving by students working in small teams (typically of two students each). Solutions devised by the various teams were evaluated "on the spot" through "self-grading" (based on an instructor-directed solution walk-through), thus providing immediate feedback and eliminating the time, overhead, and expense associated with homework paper collection and grading. Students' scores for the "homework" part of the course grade were determined solely based on attendance at their assigned DPS section. Because of the “virtual lecture” requirement, the DPS sections typically met twice each week (in contrast to the three weekly class meetings associated with the traditional lecture).

To help students decide which course format (TL or DPS) might best match their individual learning style, students were instructed to use the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) on-line survey2 (developed by Felder and Soloman). Specifically, students with some combination of active, visual, and/or global preferences3,4,5,6,7 were encouraged to consider choosing the DPS option. While allowing students a choice of course format may have introduced a non-quantifiable bias in the exam performance results obtained, an important finding of this study was the fraction of

Meyer, D., & Brown, C. (2009, June), Experimental Cross Hybrid Course Formats Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5671

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