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Implementing a Flipped Classroom in Thermodynamics

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Thermal Sciences

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.703.1 - 23.703.8



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Paper Authors


Evan C. Lemley University of Central Oklahoma

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Professor Lemley teaches thermo-fluid engineering and works with undergraduates to perform fluid dynamics research mostly focused on small scale flow problems. He currently is an Assistant Dean of Mathematics and Science and a Professor of Engineering and Physics at the University of Central Oklahoma; his home institution of almost fifteen years. Previously, Professor Lemley worked as a mechanical engineer in the power industry. His Bachelor's degree is in physics from Hendrix College and his M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. were earned at the University of Arkansas.

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Baha Jassemnejad University of Central Oklahoma

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Eric Judd EIT University of Central Oklahoma

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Brock Philip Ring


Andrew Wayne Henderson University of Central Oklahoma

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Engr/Phy - Phy Major, Undergrad.

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Grant M Armstrong

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“Flipping” the classroom is a somewhat new trend in education where students prepare byusing their textbook, online content, or other materials before coming to class meetings. Classmeetings can then used for other activities such as problem-solving, rather than lecture. Therehave been some positive reports regarding this technique and the outcomes. This workdescribes the authors’ efforts to implement a flipped classroom that could be compared to aprevious course offering taught in the traditional way.The author has implemented a flipped classroom in an engineering thermodynamics course,which has 15 students enrolled. This course has been operated as a standard introductorymechanical engineering course in thermodynamics, which is required in two engineeringprograms on campus. This course has four 50-minute meetings per week and is a 16 weeksemester long course. The author has recorded a great deal of the course content in lecturesand worked examples, and these resources have been put online allowing the possibility of aflipped classroom.The flipped course has been operated where students are assigned reading and online lecturesand worked examples before each class period; these outside class activities are monitored bythe instructor of the course using the students’ documentation of their efforts in terms of notesand worked problems. A portion of the students’ grades comes from this documentation. Oneof the four meetings per week is a “drill session,” in which students have a quiz. These weeklyquizzes are used to assess how students are progressing in the course and in their ability tosolve problems. The quizzes use problems from quizzes and exams that were used when thecourse was taught in a traditional manner.The author has one-on-one contact with each student during each class meeting - asking aboutprogress on lecture notes and the textbook, and taking questions the students have. Oftenthere are common misconceptions that the instructor can address for a group of students duringclass meetings. Other activities include students comparing notes on problems to see whatthey have done differently, students working problems independently, and students workingproblems on the board for the entire class. Students are actively trying to solve problemsthroughout the class periods.This paper will report on the quantitative and qualitative differences in student outcomes,student perception, and instructor perception of teaching a “flipped” thermodynamics course.The previous traditional offering of the course used the Thermodynamics Concept Inventory(TCI) as a pre and post test to calculate gains. The “flipped” course is using the TCI as well andthese results will be compared as well as a detailed quiz and exam comparison.

Lemley, E. C., & Jassemnejad, B., & Judd, E., & Ring, B. P., & Henderson, A. W., & Armstrong, G. M. (2013, June), Implementing a Flipped Classroom in Thermodynamics Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19717

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