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Teaching Freshman Design Using a Flipped Classroom Model

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1164.1 - 24.1164.6



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Paper Authors


Ann Saterbak Rice University

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Ann Saterbak is Professor in the Practice and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs in the Bioengineering Department at Rice University (Houston, Texas). Saterbak joined the Bioengineering Department shortly after it formed and was responsible for developing its laboratory program. Saterbak introduced problem-based learning in the School of Engineering and more recently launched a successful first-year engineering design course. Saterbak is the lead author of the textbook, Bioengineering Fundamentals.

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Maria Oden Rice University

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Amber Lee Muscarello


Matthew Wettergreen Rice University Orcid 16x16

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Matthew Wettergreen is a Lecturer in Engineering at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University. He is also the Assistant Director for the Rapid Prototyping Program at the School of Science Technology.

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Teaching Freshman Design Using a Flipped Classroom ModelBuilding on best practices in engineering education, faculty at XXXX University are creatinginstructional resources to support a flipped classroom model for first-year multidisciplinaryengineering design. In most design courses, a traditional lecture format is used to teach studentsabout the design process, and students spend significant amounts of time outside of classapplying the design process by developing appropriate design criteria, brainstorming andselecting a solution, and then building a physical prototype for testing. The flipped classroom orinverted instruction model shifts course content with low cognitive load to videos, screencasts, orother forms of rich media that students watch outside of the classroom. By delivering the lecturecontent of the design process using videos and other media, class time is freed up for concreteprogress on a team’s specific project with support of faculty.The first goal is to create educational materials to transfer the delivery of content regarding thedesign process to an out-of-class environment and to develop in-class active learning modulesthat clarify, elaborate, and expand on critical design process topics. Ultimately, these moduleswill be widely available for others to use. The primary deliverables include: Forty web-based videos (5-10 min in length) produced by faculty and students that focus on steps of the engineering design process. Topics include design criteria, brainstorming, morphological charts, evaluation matrices, and physical prototyping. Ten online quizzes that monitor students’ understanding of the information in the videos. A series of multiple choice and open-ended questions test students’ knowledge and application of the technical content presented in the videos. Thirty in-class exercises that support active learning in the classroom. Faculty can guide students through exercises that strengthen students’ understanding of the design process and direct students to apply the design process to their team’s specific project.Currently, limited research exists on the impact of the flipped classroom model in engineering,mathematics, or science courses at the university level. Thus, the second goal of this project is toanswer the engineering education research question: Are there differences in studentperformance in executing the engineering design process when comparing delivery ofengineering design process knowledge using a lecture format versus a flipped classroom model?The change in format and the engineering education research question will be assessed byevaluating student performance in two ways:1) Pre- and post-testing of students’ knowledge and application of the design process as measured by their critiques of a Gantt chart laying out a 14-week design process.2) Students’ technical memos that capture key steps in the design process.Finally, the quality and usability of the developed materials will be assessed by students andfaculty at XXXX University and partner institutions.To date, the team has described and planned the work for the upcoming year. The team hascollected and assessed data on student performance for courses taught using a lecture format.The team is seeking feedback on developing materials that will be helpful for the communityteaching engineering design. This work is supported by an NSF DUE grant (#1244928).

Saterbak, A., & Oden, M., & Muscarello, A. L., & Wettergreen, M. (2014, June), Teaching Freshman Design Using a Flipped Classroom Model Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23097

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