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Inverting Instruction in a Semiconductor Devices Course: A Case Study of a Flipped Electrical Engineering Classroom

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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 2

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1036.1 - 26.1036.12



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Paper Authors


Vignesh Subbian University of Cincinnati Orcid 16x16

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Vignesh Subbian is an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests include biomedical devices and informatics, human-computer interaction, and engineering education.

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Gregory Warren Bucks University of Cincinnati

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Gregory Bucks joined the Department of Engineering Education in 2012. He received his BSEE from the Pennsylvania State University in 2004, his MSECE from Purdue University in 2006, and his PhD in Engineering Education in 2010, also from Purdue University. After completing his PhD, he taught for two years at Ohio Northern University in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science department, before making the transition to the University of Cincinnati. He has taught a variety of classes ranging introductory programming and first-year engineering design courses to introductory and advanced courses in electronic circuits. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, and ACM.

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Jason C Heikenfeld University of Cincinnati

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Dr. Jason Heikenfeld is an internationally-known leading scientist in electrofluidic device research for biosensors, beam steering, lab-on-chip, displays, and electronic paper. He is an NSF CAREER, AFOSR and Sigma Xi Young Investigator. Dr. Heikenfeld is a Senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a Senior member of the Society for Information Display, and a member of SPIE, a member of ASEE, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Heikenfeld is now launching his 3rd startup company, and has lead the creation of programs and coursework at the University of Cincinnati that foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and an understanding of the profound change that technology can have on society. Website:

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Inverting Instruction in a Semiconductor Devices Course: A Blended Learning Framework for the 21st Century Engineering ClassroomAbstract: A typical inverted or flipped classroom moves the lecture content outside theclassroom and brings learning and problem-solving inside the classroom. In this paper, we reportour experiences in implementing a flipped classroom model in a semiconductor devices course.EECE 2XXX – Semiconductor Devices is a 3-credit hour required course for all undergraduateelectrical engineering majors at the University of _______ (U__). The ABET learning outcomesof this course are as follows:1. Comprehend the basic electrical and chemical concepts that govern semiconductor junctions with another semiconductor, a metal, or an oxide and a metal. (a)2. Be able to apply knowledge of junction-based and field-effect transistors. (a)3. Be able to synthesize transistor function through utilization of a corresponding simple circuit model. (e)4. Be able to apply other computing tools to plot transistor electrical characteristics. (k)Until 2012, this course was offered in a traditional in-class lecture format. In Fall 2013, thecourse was transformed and offered in the flipped classroom model. Videos of the lecturecontent are assigned to be watched outside the classroom. Students are given a minimum of 2days to watch the lectures before coming to class. Each class starts with a 2-minute quiz that istaken and auto-graded online. After the quiz, concepts from the quiz and any questions from thelecture are briefly reviewed (5-8 minutes). Students then spend the rest of the class time (~80minutes) working on problems in groups of 2-3. The logistics of in-class activities aresignificantly different from other flipped class models and therefore, the implementation detailswill be detailed in this paper.In the most recent offering of this class (Fall 2014), 18 electrical engineering students (18 male,0 female) were enrolled. Based on the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) questionnaire, 12 students(66.7%) self-reported as active learners and six students (33.3%) reported as reflective learners.More elaborate results and strategies for accommodating different kinds of learners in a flippedclassroom will be presented. While the idea of a flipped classroom is established, theimplementation strategies differ across institutions, disciplines, and instructors. This paper willdescribe course design, pedagogical methods, and results from this offering of the course. Thecourse design provides simple solutions to effectively transform and offer a flipped engineeringcourse. It is anticipated that this work will be especially useful for first time course developersand/or instructors interested in migrating to the flipped classroom style. Furthermore, the paperwill feature the following aspects: (1) A teaching “toolbox” for flipped pedagogy, (2) creatingawareness of blended learning at the institution-level, and (3) the need for strategic approaches inimplementing a blended learning environment.

Subbian, V., & Bucks, G. W., & Heikenfeld, J. C. (2015, June), Inverting Instruction in a Semiconductor Devices Course: A Case Study of a Flipped Electrical Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24373

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