June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Electrical and Computer
24.805.1 - 24.805.20
Introducing an Instructional Model for “Flipped Engineering Classrooms” -Part (II): How Do Group Discussions Foster Meaningful Learning? In a previous report, we discussed our design and implementation of an instructionalmodel for the new electric energy systems curriculum in the Department of Electrical andComputer Engineering at a large research-extensive mid-western university. One of thefundamental changes in instructional approaches for the new curriculum was to utilize problem-centered learning during regular in-class sessions. Students were instructed to learn theories andcontent by watching online video modules before coming to the class, and solve problems withpeers inside the classroom. Our study investigated how students learn in this so called “flippedclassroom” and identified pedagogies that facilitated active learning. By applying design-basedresearch methods, we introduced a Four-Practice Instructional Model based on student learningdemands for necessary instructional interventions. The design of the instructional model drawson an established framework for active learning, which includes the Four Practices: (1)anticipating, (2) monitoring, (3) connecting and contrasting, and (4) contextualized lecturing.The model has been implemented, and will continue to be modified through iterative cycles. Wehave found that the new instructional model has empowered the course instructor and redefinedthe instructor’s roles in non-traditional engineering classrooms. It helps to establish classroomdiscourse as an effective pedagogical tool. We explained how the model fostered interactivecommunications in the classroom, and discussed the degree to which classroom discourse is“authoritative” vs. “dialogic”. In particular, the model enhanced contextualized lecturing. The current study, the second part of the research, focuses on research questionsconcerning how students learn. We examined impacts that the new instructional model,particularly in-classroom discussions, had on student learning. Group discussions were observedduring the semester, and were audio taped towards the end. A framework based on a modifiedtaxonomy was created to analyze students’ “utterances”. It is evident that problem-centeredpedagogy engages students in collaborative dialogues during group discussions. The establisheddiscourse in group discussions functions as a heuristic teaching and learning tool that facilitateslearning of content knowledge and skills in a profound way. Two focus group meetings wereconducted to help gain insights into students’ learning perspectives and self-efficacy beliefs. TheFour-Practice Model helps build a learning community that promotes the development ofabilities and skills in cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal domains. It particularlyinfluences students who are self-identified as motivated and engaged with lasting effects. Theimplementation of the instructional model has been iterative, based on research findings of whatworks, what does not work, and why it does or does not work. We find that interactions andcommunications enhanced by the instructional model reveal individual students’ thinkingprocess and learning progress. It has the potential to work as an epistemological probe. We willcontinue to apply the design-based research method to refine instructional practices and plan toembed formative assessments that show students’ progress in learning.
Lin, J., & Imbertson, P., & Moore, T. J. (2014, June), Introducing an Instructional Model for “Flipped Engineering Classrooms” -Part (II): How Do Group Discussions Foster Meaningful Learning? Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20697
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