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Increasing Student Learning and Interest in a Flipped First-year Electrical and Computer Engineering Course

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Flipped Electrical and Computer Engineering Classrooms 1

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.948.1 - 26.948.12



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Paper Authors


Kumar Yelamarthi Central Michigan University

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Kumar Yelamarthi received the Ph.D. degree in electrical
engineering from Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA, in 2008. He is currently an Associate Professor of electrical & computer engineering at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA. He has served as a technical reviewer for several international conferences and journals, and has published over 75 articles in archival journals and conference proceedings. His research interest is in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, computer vision, integrated circuit optimization, and engineering education. Dr. Yelamarthi is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society and a senior member of IEEE.

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Eron E. Drake Central Michigan University

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Eron Drake received her Ed.D. degree in Education education with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction from Central Michigan University in 2009. She also holds an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI, and has over eleven years of experience in leading instructional and faculty development programs and services. She annually conducts over 40 workshops on high-impact teaching and learning practices, provides consultations with faculty, departments and colleges, and presents at national and international conferences. She is a member of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.

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Utilizing TPaCK Instructional Design Practices to Redesign a Freshman Engineering Digital Circuits Course: A Pilot Implementation StudyAbstract- Meeting the challenges of an ever changing engineering society/world in preparing the futureengineers has never been greater. On one hand, unprecedented progress in the field of electronics andprogrammable devices has provided an opportunity for engineers from all disciplines to accomplish theirrespective tasks at a much faster and easier pace. Accordingly, the majority of engineering programs arerequiring all of their students to take at least one electrical engineering (EE) course. However, on theother hand, some non-EE majors do not see the relevance of EE to their educational program until theyface a real-world problem, often on-the-job after graduation, when the opportunity for learning in a coursehas passed. Thus, one of the significant challenges engineering programs face is how to engage studentsin meaningful ways that encourage them to persist and pursue a career in engineering. In response to the opportunities and challenges outlined above, this paper presents a Freshman DigitalCircuits (DC) course that has been utilizing the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge(TPaCK) instructional design practices. With this course requiring limited pre-requisites in mathematics,it was the ideal candidate to engage engineering students and showcase state-of-the-art technologies,introduce real-world problems, and reinforce quantitative reasoning. Traditionally the DC classintroduced students to Boolean logic, Boolean algebra, K-Maps, and logic circuits with limited emphasison real-world problems. This class, which meets twice a week for 75 minutes, has been flipped to includethe following: i) breadboard based circuit prototyping, ii) utilizing test equipment to implement andevaluate logic circuits, iii) introduction to embedded systems, iv) hands-on activity for design andimplementation of a mobile robot with several on-board sensors, actuators, and controllers, v) discussionof technological updates through TED talks, vi) updated classroom seating arrangements to reinforcecollaborative learning strategies and enhance classroom discussions, and vii) video preview of lectures. Preliminary results (5th week into the semester) indicate that the redesigned course enhanced studentengagement, satisfaction, and learning. Indeed, as a result of the redesign, students were able to learn at amuch faster rate compared to previous semesters. Some of the preliminary data include the following:• 85.7% of students “agree” or “strongly agree” that video preview of lectures, and pre-lecture quizzes helped them better prepare to learn course content.• 100% students “agree” or “strongly agree” that in-class handouts helped them learn in this class• 100% students “strongly disagree” that they would prefer a textbook in this class.• 85.7% of students “agree” or “strongly agree” that TED talks were effective in introducing the technological advancements in the field of engineering.• 78.6% of students “agree” or “strongly agree” that classroom seating arrangement has promoted a positive learning environment.• 100% of students “agree” or “strongly agree” that interactive discussion style helped them learn course content. This paper presents the rationale behind course redesign, instructional design strategies implemented(e.g., TPaCK), teaching and learning methodologies used, and lessons learned from the pilotimplementation. The paper will conclude with on-going plans and recommendations for future iterationsof the course.

Yelamarthi, K., & Drake, E. E. (2015, June), Increasing Student Learning and Interest in a Flipped First-year Electrical and Computer Engineering Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24285

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