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Student Performance in Partially Flipped ECE Laboratory Classes

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Assessment of Learning in ECE Courses

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Ahmed Dallal University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Dallal is an assistant professor at the department of electrical and computer engineering, Unversity of Pittsburgh, since August 2017. Dr. Dallal primary focus is on education development and innovation. His research interests include biomedical signal processing, biomedical image analysis, and computer vision, as well as machine learning, networked control systems, and human-machine learning.

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April Dukes University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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April Dukes ( is the Faculty and Future Faculty Program Director for the Engineering Educational Research Center (EERC) and the Institutional Co-leader for Pitt-CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) at the University of Pittsburgh. April studied at Winthrop University, earning a BS degree in Chemistry and BA degree in Psychology in 2000. She then completed her PhD in 2007 at the University of Pittsburgh, studying oxidative stress in in vitro models of Parkinson's disease. During her prior graduate and postdoctoral work in neurodegeneration, April mentored several undergraduate, graduate, and clinical researchers and developed new methods for imaging and tracking mitochondria from living zebrafish neurons.

In her work for the EERC and Pitt-CIRTL, April Dukes collaborates on educational research projects and facilitates professional development (PD) on instructional and mentoring best practices for current and future STEM faculty. As an adjunct instructor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh since 2009 and an instructor for CIRTL Network and Pitt-CIRTL local programming since 2016, April is experienced in both synchronous and asynchronous online and in-person teaching environments.

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Renee M. Clark University of Pittsburgh

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Renee Clark is Research Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Assessment for the Engineering Education Research Center (EERC) in the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. She conducts research on education projects that focus on active learning and engineering professional development. Current research includes the propagation of active learning throughout the Swanson School and the use of systematic reflection and metacognitive activities within coursework. She received the Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and the MS in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western. She has over 25 years of experience as an engineer and analyst in industry and academia. She completed her post-doctoral studies in engineering education at the University of Pittsburgh.

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With advances in technologies and ideologies, online learning has gained in popularity and acceptance among students. This has encouraged instructors to adopt flipped instruction in their classes. The flipped classroom is a relatively new pedagogical method that is based on video lectures and practice problems outside of class and active group-based activities during class. Video lectures enable the students to watch lectures at their own pace as many times as they wish. It also allows them to prepare for the upcoming lesson. Even more, video lectures allow students to identify the most challenging parts of the topic under study and encourage them to come up with questions to ask during class time. During the lecture time, students can get answers to their specific questions and get involved in group-based discussions and problem-solving. These in-class activities foster learning by students. The flipped classroom may seem risky as it put the responsibility on the student to finish video lectures before class time. However, some techniques, e.g., reliability quizzes, can be adopted to make sure that students complete the video lectures before the class. Also, some previous research suggests that student learning is improved in the flipped compared to the traditional classroom.

Due to their nature, ECE laboratory courses are well suited for flipping. This research studies students’ performance in two partially flipped ECE lab courses - signal processing and electronic circuit design. The study uses the data collected from the two courses over the period from summer 2018 to summer 2019. The primary motivation for the instructor to flip these classes was the desire of tailoring class time to students’ needs, questions, and experimentation. Both courses are composed of equally challenging modules, and the amount of flipped material varied from one semester to another, as driven by student feedback and needs. The instructor created custom videos for each of the flipped lectures, which were filmed at the university media lab. In this paper, we analyze scores from homework assignments, quizzes, and lab reports to assess the performance of the students with the flipped modules versus with traditional lecture modules within the same partially-flipped course. Lab report quality is an essential factor that can indicate how well the students learned the topics of the module as well as their ability to interpret and analyze the results of the experiments. Also, we will compare students’ scores from course sections that included some flipped instruction to other sections of the same courses without any flipped instruction. Student surveys and interviews were conducted to measure perceptions of flipped learning, and these will be content-analyzed by two analysts to determine students’ perception and reception of this technique.

Dallal, A., & Dukes, A., & Clark, R. M. (2020, June), Student Performance in Partially Flipped ECE Laboratory Classes Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35233

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