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Increased Problem Solving in Foundation Design through Inverting the Classroom

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Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference



Publication Date

April 9, 2021

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April 9, 2021

End Date

April 10, 2021

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Jonathan F. Hubler Villanova University

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Dr. Jonathan Hubler is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University, with expertise in geotechnical engineering. His research interests include geotechnical earthquake engineering, static and dynamic response of soils in the laboratory and field, soil liquefaction, and beneficial reuse of recycled materials in geotechnical engineering. Dr. Hubler teaches a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Soil Mechanics, Foundation Design, and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

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This paper summarizes the outcomes of inverting the classroom for Foundation Design, a senior technical elective in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department that is offered each fall semester. The author taught Foundation Design for the first time in Fall 2018 and inverted the classroom starting in Fall 2019. The course was inverted based on feedback from teaching survey comments from Fall 2018 that indicated that 8 out of 24 (33%) students would like more time in class to go through examples. In addition, many example problems in foundation design are multi-step and require many charts and tables to solve, which made it difficult to provide proper background material and sufficient time for solving example problems in a 75-minute class session. To invert the classroom, lecture videos were recorded prior to class sessions and posted online for students to view and complete a short quiz on video understanding. Videos were approximately 10 minutes in length and usually one video was posted for each lecture session. New problem handouts were created for in-class problem solving sessions and more time was available for students to work on these problems in groups and as a class. Lessons learned from inverting the course and developing new problem handouts will be discussed. The outcomes of the project preliminarily show that grades for the lower 50th percentile of the class increased. A significant increase was observed in homework grades, which potentially can be attributed to the inverted format that allowed for more time in class for example problems and starting homework problems. In addition to the increased performance in grades for the lower half of the class, positive feedback was received through comments on the teaching surveys. Overall, 17 of 34 comments (50%) cited that they enjoyed the inverted format or in-class problem solving sessions. These comments were unprompted and therefore many comments did not include any reference to the class format.

Hubler, J. F. (2021, April), Increased Problem Solving in Foundation Design through Inverting the Classroom Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . 10.18260/1-2--36303

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