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Teaching Electrical Engineering to non-EE Majors in a Flipped or Blended Classroom

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

ECE-related Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors

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Alexander Ganago University of Michigan


Hyunsoo Julian Kim University of Michigan

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Ph.D candidate, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

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Joshua Adam Kotrba University of Michigan


Mohammad Rasouli University of Michigan

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Mohammad Rasouli is a PhD candidate in University of Michigan EE:SYS department. He also holds a MSc in Economics from University of Michigan. He has been teaching courses and labs as graduate assistant.

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Teaching Electrical Engineering to non-EE majors in a flipped, or blended classroom

We report the experience of teaching Electrical Engineering (EE) to non-EE majors in a flipped, or blended classroom format, for five consecutive semesters (total, ~650 students).

Our new strategy is based on Bloom’s taxonomy and stimulates active learning within and beyond the classroom. To foster student learning outside the classroom, we created a large number of online quizzes. Their effectiveness was assessed via quantitative and qualitative methods, including interviews with students, official end-of-term evaluations, etc.

o Each quiz is based on a bank of questions uploaded on the server o The questions are quantitative and often require calculations of several parameters of the same circuit o When a student takes a quiz, the server randomly draws a question from the bank o The student has unlimited time to answer the question (until the deadline) o After the student enters his/her answer, the server provides immediate feedback o For each quiz, every student is given 3 tries without penalty (each time, the server makes another random draw) o For online quizzes, students earn 25% of the course score o The online quizzes correspond to the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy – Remembering and Understanding; Homework on paper corresponds to the upper levels – Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating o Before each lecture, the instructor reviews the scores earned by students doing the quizzes and decides which topics need additional explanation and practice during the Lecture o The lecture time is then used for interactive learning (to be explained in the paper).

The benefits for students (compare online quizzes with HW on paper): o Online quizzes: The student receives immediate feedback, which includes the correct answer and serves as reassurance/guidance to solving problems on the new topic. o HW on paper: The student may doubt how to approach the problem but receives no reassurance until the paper is graded (a week later). o Online quizzes: If the solution is incorrect/incomplete, the student has two more chances to resubmit. o HW on paper: If the solution was incorrect/incomplete, there is no second chance to resubmit. o Online quizzes: The feedback from the server arrives immediately, while the problem is still fresh in the student’s memory; the opportunity for learning is abundant. o HW on paper: By the time when homework papers are graded, the student is not thinking about this topic anymore; the opportunity for learning is lost.

60% students prefer to demonstrate their learning by doing online quizzes vs. Homework on paper.

For the instructors, teaching REALLY becomes easier, for instance, students’ questions on the course material almost disappear; instead, students only ask for extensions of the due dates and the number of tries for online quizzes. Also, Homework on paper gets shorter, easier to grade. Moreover, the questions originally created for online quizzes can also be used for midterm and final exams.

The paper will discuss the changed role of lectures, the timing of online quizzes vs. Lectures and Homework, etc.

Ganago, A., & Kim, H. J., & Kotrba, J. A., & Rasouli, M. (2016, June), Teaching Electrical Engineering to non-EE Majors in a Flipped or Blended Classroom Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26021

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