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Flipping a Classroom: A Continual Process of Refinement

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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

Flipping ECE Courses

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.615.1 - 24.615.15



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Paper Authors


Kenneth A. Connor Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Kenneth Connor is a professor in the department of electrical, computer, and systems engineering where he teaches courses on plasma physics, electromagnetics, electronics and instrumentation, electric power, and general engineering. His research involves plasma physics, electromagnetics, photonics, engineering education, diversity in the engineering workforce, and technology enhanced learning. Since joining the Rensselaer faculty in 1974, he has been continuously involved in research programs at such places as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Universities of Texas and Wisconsin in the U.S., Kyoto and Nagoya Universities in Japan, the Ioffe Institute in Russia, and the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology in Ukraine. He was ECSE department head from 2001 to 2008 and served on the board of the ECE Department Heads Association from 2003 to 2008. He is presently the education director for the Smart Lighting SF ERC.

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Dianna L. Newman University at Albany/SUNY

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Dr. Dianna Newman is a research professor and director of the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany/SUNY. Her major areas of study are program evaluation with an emphasis in STEM related programs. She has numerous chapters, articles, and papers on technology-supported teaching and learning as well as systems-change stages pertaining to technology adoption.

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Meghan Morris Deyoe University at Albany, SUNY

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Flipping a Classroom: A Continual Process of RefinementThe mission of the SMART LIGHTING Engineering Research Center includes a key educationalcomponent, namely to educate a diverse, world-class workforce that will be needed to expandthe business of Smart Lighting. The education program of the ERC addresses university and pre-college level education and outreach and has as its goal the development of innovative curriculumand instructional practices that will allow for transfer of new knowledge into the classroom. One ofthe goals of the ERC educational program is to investigate the viability of alternative approaches toinstruction that will build on the constructionist/constructivist approach to STEM education. To meetthis goal, the instructional practice of flipped classrooms is being piloted where specific content isprovided via online video lectures, and class time is devoted to hands-on practice of concepts. Theimplementation of flipped classrooms, requiring self-regulated approaches to learning, is becomingmore common; however, most students within the STEM domain are accustomed to the traditionalteacher-directed classrooms. Although many students have prior experience with video lectures, theircomfort levels are generally not high. A major focus of this development effort is to provide studentswith scaffolding infrastructure so they can become more confident and successful in this newlearning environment.This paper addresses formative information related to the implementation of a flipped classroomapproach in an Electronics Instrumentation class beginning in 2010-2013. Student and facultyperceptions of the use of online video lectures and the in-class active experiential learning (i.e., howboth methods were used, their impact on student affect and cognition, as well as facilitators andbarriers) and documentation of the process of continual development used to refine theimplementation of the flipped classroom approach, specifically in Spring and Fall of 2013 arepresented.Results indicate that the flipped classroom approach was successfully implemented and supportedmultiple learning styles, as well as instructional preferences (direct learning via videos, guidedinquiry, experiential learning, and independent and group learning). The constructivist learningwithin the flipped classroom created student-directed learning opportunities and promoted skilldevelopment in learning, as well as professionalism. Specific skills included: the development ofcollaboration and communication skills, knowledge retention of material, and increased affectivevariables related to learning (i.e., motivation and efficiency).For the first time since implementation, students demonstrated an acceptance in learning via theflipped classroom approach. The majority of students indicated they would not change anythingabout the group learning process in the flipped classroom. Students noted limitations to learning;individual learning characteristics appeared to have an effect on student perceptions of learningin a flipped classroom.In Fall 2013, changes have been made in effort to enhance and extend student learning at ahigher level of cognition and transfer. Effective teaching practices and formative assessmentprocedures have been implemented for both students and teaching assistants to enhance thequality and depth of student understanding through both classroom activities and studentsummative performance tasks (i.e., lab reports) to facilitate learning for all students.

Connor, K. A., & Newman, D. L., & Deyoe, M. M. (2014, June), Flipping a Classroom: A Continual Process of Refinement Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20506

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