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Three Approaches to Flipping CE Courses: Faculty Perspectives and Suggestions

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Innovative Pedagogy in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1249.1 - 23.1249.14



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Paper Authors


Brian Swartz P.E. University of Hartford

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Dr. Brian Swartz has been serving as an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Hartford. He will be joining the Engineering Department at Messiah College beginning fall 2013. His technical expertise is in the structures area. He holds a Ph.D. from Penn State University and a P.E. license in the state of Connecticut.

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Stephanie Butler Velegol Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dr. Stephanie Butler Velegol received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 1996 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She taught for two years as a visiting professor in Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University. She has been teaching Environmental Engineering courses in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Penn State University since 2009. She is pioneering the use of online courses for summer courses, flipped courses throughout the semester and professional development in Pennsylvania. In addition, she has advised over a dozen students on the use of Moringa seeds for sustainable water treatment in the developing world.

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Jeffrey A. Laman Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Flipping the Student Experience Causes them to ThinkClassroom inversion or “flipping” is one of the latest models to engage students and betterachieve learning outcomes. The concept involves moving traditional lecture material outside theclassroom and practical application of newly learned ideas into the class meeting times. In theinverted model the new concepts, theory, or equations are presented in various media – videos,readings, notes – prior to the class contact time. Application of those new ideas is cultivatedduring the class time when the professor is available to answer questions and facilitatediscussion, but not lecture in a traditional sense.The authors have implemented this approach in three distinct settings – a medium/largeenrollment senior-level foundations design course, a small enrollment senior-level concretedesign course, and a small-enrollment sophomore-level mechanics course. Successes andlessons learned are documented from each of the cases.The paper puts forth specific suggestions for improving the student learning experience byimplementing the concept of an inverted classroom at least partially. The authors providesuggestions based on their experience for faculty wishing to transition from a traditional lecture-style presentation towards a strategy that transforms the classroom into an active educationalexperience.The paper summarizes the advantages of such a system and cautions against potential obstacles.When applied correctly, the authors observe students better retaining key concepts, becomingactively engaged in thinking through new problems, and taking responsibility for their owneducational objectives.

Swartz, B., & Velegol, S. B., & Laman, J. A. (2013, June), Three Approaches to Flipping CE Courses: Faculty Perspectives and Suggestions Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22634

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