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The Flipped Classroom: It's (Still) All About Engagement

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Flipped Electrical and Computer Engineering Classrooms 1

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1534.1 - 26.1534.17



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Paper Authors


Cory J. Prust Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Cory J. Prust is an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He earned his BSEE degree from MSOE in 2001 and his
Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2006. Prior to joining MSOE in 2009, he was a Technical Staff member
at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He teaches courses in the signal processing, communication systems, and embedded systems areas.

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Richard W. Kelnhofer Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Dr. Kelnhofer is the Program Director of Electrical Engineering and an Associate Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Formerly, he held engineering and managerial positions in the telecommunications industry. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Marquette University in 1997 and is a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin. Dr. Kelnhofer teaches courses in circuits, communication systems, signal processing, and information and coding theory.

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Owe G. Petersen Milwaukee School of Engineering

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OWE PETERSEN is Professor Emeritus and former Department Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). He is a former Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. His technical work ranged over the topics of optical data links, integrated circuit technology, RF semiconductor components, and semiconductor component reliable. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and an ABET EAC program evaluator in Electrical Engineering.

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The Flipped Classroom: It's (Still) All About EngagementA current trend in academia is the use of flipped classrooms. Proponents of flipping citenumerous positive attributes, such as improved student-teacher interaction, group learning, activelearning, and problem-based learning. Currently there is no conclusive evidence of demonstratedimprovement in student learning outcomes using a flipped classroom format.It is our contention that student engagement outside the classroom is the most crucial element inthe learning process. If a flipped classroom format does not provide greater student engagement,flipping will simply be a different process in comparison to the standard lecture format, and thereis no reason to expect improved student learning results. Hence, a key issue is whether a flippedformat increases such engagement. If that were to happen, the flipped format has the potential toyield great results.This paper will present the results of teaching three different courses using different flippedformats for each course. Each instructor had previously taught their course in a traditional lectureformat. We compare our experiences between flipped courses and also provide a comparison tothe results we previously experienced using the standard lecture format. Our results were verypositive in terms of student reactions. Most students strongly preferred the flipped format. Butfrom an impact standpoint the grades earned were reasonably similar between the flipped andstandard delivery modes. The reason for that, in our opinion, is that the level of studentengagement outside the classroom did not materialize to the necessary degree.One thing seems very clear. Faculty expectations of student responsibilities shift significantlyusing a flipped format. To be successful, the format literally demands student preparation in theform of pre-class student engagement. This shifts the type and timing of out-of-classroomstudent engagement as compared to traditional lecture based courses.We will share what seems to work and what didn’t work. We will also present a simple modelfor student engagement. This model helps to explain or hypothesize teaching and learning issuesfor both flipped and traditional classroom formats. There are many teaching methodologies thatcan be employed in what has become known as the flipped classroom experience. Hence, we willdescribe the details of the flipped format each instructor used. The most minimal approach wasto post somewhat traditional handwritten note sets and problem solutions. Other approaches useda range of technologies, such as video and a blended format. This demonstrated that the barrierfor doing a flipped classroom is actually very surmountable for most courses and one can readilyengage in the opportunity to make a first-hand evaluation of the benefits and difficulties of thisnew method.

Prust, C. J., & Kelnhofer, R. W., & Petersen, O. G. (2015, June), The Flipped Classroom: It's (Still) All About Engagement Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24872

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