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Implementing An Inverted Classroom Model In Engineering Statics: Initial Results

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Teaching Statics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.679.1 - 15.679.27



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Paper Authors


Christopher Papadopoulos University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

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Christopher Papadopoulos is a faculty member in the Department of General Engineerng at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, where he coordinates the Engineering Mechanics Committee. His research interests include nonlinear structural mechanics, biomechanics, engineering education, and engineering ethics, and he serves as secretary of the ASEE Mechanics Division. He holds BS degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Cornell University. He was previously a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering & Mechanics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Aidsa Santiago Roman University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

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Aidsa I. Santiago Román is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Materials and the Director of the Strategic Engineering Education Development (SEED) Office at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPRM). Dr. Santiago earned a BA (1996) and MS (2000) in Industrial Engineering from UPRM, and Ph.D. (2009) in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her primary research interest is investigating students’ understanding of difficult concepts in engineering science with underrepresented populations. She also teaches introductory engineering courses such as Problem Solving and Computer Programming, Statics, and Mechanics.

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

Implementing an Inverted Classroom Model in Engineering Statics: Initial Results

1. Introduction

T is described by Lage et al. as an environment in which events that have traditionally taken place inside the classroom now take place outside the classroom and vice versa 1. Typically, Inverted instruction requires students to complete preparatory activities and exercises prior to Lecture, usually online. This pre-lecture activity exposes students to new material and allows them to form initial conceptions, attempt problems, receive feedback, and formulate questions. By leveraging these outcomes, lectures can be less about direct dissemination of material and more about critical discussion and engaged learning activities.

Recent advances in educational software and internet-based instruction have been exploited to develop Inverted Classrooms, including in engineering education2,3,4. In 2009, Dollár & Steif2 presented an Inverted Classroom model for Engineering Statics, delivered via the Open Learning Initiative (OLI)5. Inspired by this work, one of the authors designed and implemented an Inverted model for his sections of Statics at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (UPRM) for Fall 2009. Excited by positive student feedback and his own impressions of its effectiveness, he continues to use the Inverted method in Statics (Spring 2010), and has also implemented an Inverted model to deliver a 75-minute seminar in Engineering Ethics to UPRM freshman (Fall 2009, Spring 2010)6.

To implement the new Inverted classroom for Statics, a set of customized Modules was newly created and delivered via the Moodle online courseware environment7,8. Prior to each Lecture, students must read one or two Modules (which consist of PowerPoint slide presentations) and complete corresponding Exercises. To promote engagement, the Modules use animation within each slide to allow students to process information dynamically, incrementally, and logically, and the corresponding Exercises are graded and provide feedback. We extended the idea of the Inverted Classroom to include a Problem-Solving Session following each Lecture, which is a regular, structured session in which students initiate homework exercises with the assistance of the instructor, teaching assistant (TA), and other students. The Problem Solving Session inverts the burden of initiating help-seeking from the student to the instructor, and inverts the setting for doing homework from outside to inside the classroom environment.

The primary assessment data is derived from a detailed student survey given at the end of Fall 2009. Survey results indicate strong student -style courses. In addition, we administered the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (CATS)9 in both the Inverted sections and other Standard sections of Statics. The average post-test score from the Inverted cohort exceeded that of the Standard cohort, although differing measures offer differing assessments of whether this difference is significant. Because our students are 100% Hispanic, and most speak English as their second language (Spanish being their primary language), our results suggest that the Inverted method has potential to be effective across

Papadopoulos, C., & Santiago Roman, A. (2010, June), Implementing An Inverted Classroom Model In Engineering Statics: Initial Results Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16768

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