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Probing the Inverted Classroom: A Controlled Study of Teaching and Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Engineering and Mathematics

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Pedagogy and Learning 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

24.1006.1 - 24.1006.21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22939

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22939

Download Count

629

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Paper Authors

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Nancy K. Lape Harvey Mudd College

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Rachel Levy Harvey Mudd College

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Rachel Levy is an associate professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. She has an M.A. in instructional design from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an M.A./Ph.D. in applied mathematics from North Carolina State University. In addition to mathematics, she regularly teaches first-year writing. She serves on the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics' (SIAM) Education Committee, as editor-in-chief of SIURO, SIAM Undergraduate Research Online, and as an associate editor of Math Horizons. Levy facilitates project-based learning for students at all levels, from end-of-class projects in first-year differential equations to yearlong industrial projects for teams of seniors. She encourages her research students to share mathematical fluid mechanics with a variety of audiences through conferences, outreach programs, and formal research papers. Her online project, Grandma got STEM, shares the power and talent of geeky grannies with its international readership.

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Darryl H. Yong Harvey Mudd College

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Darryl Yong is an associate professor of mathematics and Associate Dean for Diversity at Harvey Mudd College.

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Karl A. Haushalter Harvey Mudd College

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Rebecca Eddy Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc.

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Dr. Eddy received her doctorate in applied cognitive psychology and has spent her career focused on applying the principles of learning and cognition to evaluation of educational programs. Her work includes published articles and client technical reports as president of Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc., and as a faculty member at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). Work at Cobblestone focuses on advancing the numbers of underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Dr. Eddy has conducted evaluation or applied research studies on numerous university projects, including clients' programs funded by the National Science Foundation; U.S. Department of Education Title III and Title V; National Institutes of Health; and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, among others. Dr. Eddy also trains professional evaluators from around the world as a faculty member at CGU in the Advanced Certificate in Evaluation program.

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Nancy Hankel Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc.

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Ms. Hankel earned a master of arts degree in psychology with a co-concentration in organizational behavior and evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. She also graduated from Hillsdale College with a bachelor of arts in psychology. As a research associate at Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc., Ms. Hankel manages several studies, including a large, elementary school mathematics efficacy study and multiple evaluation projects related to teacher training and professional development. She has experience in all phases of data collection (such as instrument development and administration, observations, focus group and individual interviews) as well as in quantitative and qualitative data analyses and reporting.

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Abstract

Probing the Inverted Classroom: A Controlled Study of Teaching and Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Engineering and MathematicsMotivation and Background:An inverted classroom reverses the paradigm of traditional lecture courses by deliveringlectures outside of class – by means such as videos or screencasts – and using classmeeting time for instructor-mediated active learning. This format has the potential totransform STEM education by increasing student time spent on what research hasdemonstrated to be the most effective teaching techniques (i.e. active learning) withoutsacrificing material coverage or educational scaffolding. Many educators are beginning toinvert their classrooms, but there is limited (or no) data on learning gains currentlyavailable. We are rigorously examining the impact of four instructors inverting twoSTEM courses, in engineering and mathematics, by measuring student learning gains.Our expected measureable outcomes are: 1. Higher learning gains; 2. Increased ability to apply material in new situations (transfer); 3. Increased interest in and positive attitudes towards STEM fields (affective gains); and 4. Increased awareness by students of how they learn and strategies that support their learning (metacognitive gains).Our hypothesis is that increased student learning will arise primarily because of theadditional time that students will have with instructors actively working on meaningfultasks in class. If our hypotheses prove true, that will have implications for institutions thatare seeking to push more instruction online, where instructor-mediated learning islimited. In addition, because this study involves three different disciplines, the resultsshould be applicable across STEM fields and institutions.Methodology:The proposed study design is composed of three components: (1) direct assessmentmeasures specific to each of our courses/disciplines in addition to indirect assessmentmeasures; (2) comparison of control and experimental sections offered simultaneously (toreduce student demographic variability) using the same instructor (to limit instructorbias); and (3) direct assessment of learning gains and application both within the courseand in downstream courses to determine if learning gains persist.Results:The pilot year of the study showed no differences in student learning outcomes, transfer,or metacognitive skills between the control and inverted sections in either the engineeringcourse or the mathematics course. Overall, students in inverted sections felt lessenthusiastic towards STEM fields and less prepared for the next level of study; however,the effect was stronger in the engineering course.Conclusions and Significance:These preliminary results suggest that the inverted format may not improve studentlearning as compared to an active-learning-based course format. Given the faculty effortrequired to implement inverted classrooms and the potential decrease in student interestin the course field, a more “traditional” active learning format may be a better mode ofinstruction. However, these results are preliminary and based on a relatively smallnumber of students (n = 196 in the mathematics course and n= 59 in the engineeringcourse). Furthermore, the instructors have made changes to the inverted course format toaddress perceived weaknesses in the pilot year implementation.[Results and Conclusions will be modified to include Fall 2013 results for the paper andpresentation as feasible.]ERM Paper type: Research (or Evidence-based practice)

Lape, N. K., & Levy, R., & Yong, D. H., & Haushalter, K. A., & Eddy, R., & Hankel, N. (2014, June), Probing the Inverted Classroom: A Controlled Study of Teaching and Learning Outcomes in Undergraduate Engineering and Mathematics Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22939

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