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Strategies for Flipping Geology for Engineers with Limited Time and Resources

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Course Structuring for Effective Student Engagement

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kristin M. Sample-Lord P.E. Villanova University

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Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University, with expertise in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Her research focuses on soil barrier systems for protection of human health and the environment and geotechnical aspects of stormwater control measures. Dr. Sample-Lord teaches a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Geology for Engineers, Soil Mechanics and Geoenvironmental Processes.

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Patricia M. Gallagher P.E. Drexel University

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Dr. Patricia Gallagher is an Associate Professor in Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University. She specializes in geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, and sustainability and resilience of infrastructure. She researches and implements evidence-based teaching strategies in engineering education and has extensive experience with recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. Dr. Gallagher also participated in the development of the NSF ADVANCE funded Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) program at Drexel University. ELATE is a national leadership development program to advance senior women faculty into leadership.

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Andrea L. Welker Villanova University

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Dr. Andrea L. Welker, PE, is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and a Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University. Her research focuses on the geotechnical aspects of stormwater control measures and the use of recycled materials in plastic pipes. In addition to teaching and performing research, she is the director of the GeoVideo competition for the Geo-Institute of ASCE and is the Program Chair of the Civil Engineering Division of ASEE.

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Civil, environmental, and/or architectural engineers are often required to take a geology course as part of their undergraduate curriculum. In the past, engaging and interesting engineering students in geology at Villanova University and Drexel University has been a challenge. Therefore, the authors collaborated to overhaul their respective geology courses with the goals of improving student engagement, learning, and satisfaction. Based on literature supporting the potential benefits of a flipped (inverted) classroom, as well as previous success by other faculty at Villanova University in flipping other required engineering courses, the authors decided to change geology from a mostly lecture format to a flipped classroom format. However, the time and resources required to convert a course to a flipped format can quickly become overwhelming, especially for tenure-track faculty. Nonetheless, the authors were able to successfully, and efficiently, flip their geology courses by utilizing several simple strategies that leveraged free, existing resources. Comparison of student evaluation scores from previous years (lecture format) with the newer flipped format as well as student surveys indicated improved student perception of use of class time, instructor interaction, amount learned, how intellectually stimulating the course was, quality of instruction, and overall value of the course to their education. The strategies used to flip the geology course with limited time and resources are useful for other engineering courses as well, and are described in detail. Challenges encountered with implementing the new format at both universities also are discussed.

Sample-Lord, K. M., & Gallagher, P. M., & Welker, A. L. (2018, June), Strategies for Flipping Geology for Engineers with Limited Time and Resources Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30996

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