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Transition to New Personal Instrumentation in a Flipped Classroom

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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

26.1602.1 - 26.1602.18



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Paper Authors


Kenneth A Connor Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Kenneth Connor is a professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE) where he teaches courses on electromagnetics, electronics and instrumentation, plasma physics, electric power, and general engineering. His research involves plasma physics, electromagnetics, photonics, biomedical sensors, engineering education, diversity in the engineering workforce, and technology enhanced learning. He learned problem solving from his father (ran a gray iron foundry), his mother (a nurse) and grandparents (dairy farmers). He has had the great good fortune to always work with amazing people, most recently professors teaching circuits and electronics from 13 HBCU ECE programs and the faculty, staff and students of the SMART LIGHTING ERC, where he is Education Director. He was ECSE Department Head from 2001 to 2008 and served on the board of the ECE Department Heads Association from 2003 to 2008.

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Dianna Newman University at Albany/SUNY


Meghan Morris Deyoe University at Albany, SUNY

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Meghan Morris Deyoe is the Director of Outcomes Assessment at Excelsior College. Dr. Morris Deyoe has assisted in the evaluation of multiple federally and state-funded grants, and served as principal evaluator for U.S. education grants. Her major areas of study include evaluation practices in K-14 settings, the incorporation of technology in education, innovative instructional approaches, and emerging practices/trends in childhood development and in education for individuals with disabilities.

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Jessica M Lamendola University at Albany/SUNY

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Jessica M. Lamendola is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology and Methodology and a project assistant at the Evaluation Consortium at the University at Albany/SUNY. Her major areas of interest include quantitative data analyses and the adaptation of innovative technology in classrooms. She has received a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and Methodology.

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Transition to New Personal Instrumentation in a Flipped ClassroomThe mission of the SMART LIGHTING Engineering Research Center includes a key educationalcomponent, namely to educate a diverse, world-class workforce that will be needed to expandthe business of Smart Lighting. The education program of the ERC has as its goal the developmentof innovative curriculum and instructional practices that facilitate the transfer of new knowledge intothe classroom. One of the goals of the ERC educational program is to investigate the viability ofalternative approaches to instruction that will build on the constructionist/constructivist approach toSTEM education. To meet this goal, the instructional practice of flipped classrooms is beinginvestigated where specific content is provided via online video lectures, and class time is devoted tohands-on practice of concepts. Although many students have some prior experience with videolectures, their comfort levels are generally not high. A major focus of this development effort is toprovide students with scaffolding infrastructure so they can become more confident and successful inthis new learning environment.This paper addresses formative information related to the implementation of new personalinstrumentation hardware and software in a flipped classroom. The course – ElectronicsInstrumentation (the main electronics course taken by student outside of Electrical and ComputerEngineering) – was transitioned to flipped instruction in 2010 using the Mobile Studio as student-owned personal instrumentation. The flipped environment evolved with basically the sameinstrumentation toolset through the Fall of 2013. During this period, student and faculty perceptionsof the use of online video lectures and the in-class active experiential learning (i.e., how bothmethods were used, their impact on student affect and cognition, as well as facilitators and barriers)and documentation of the process of continual development used to refine the implementation of theflipped classroom approach, were documented in a series of papers and book chapters.Results indicate that the flipped classroom approach was successfully implemented and supportedmultiple learning styles, as well as instructional preferences (direct learning via videos, guidedinquiry, experiential learning, and independent and group learning). The constructivist learningwithin the flipped classroom created student-directed learning opportunities and promoted skilldevelopment in learning, as well as professionalism. Specific skills included: the development ofcollaboration and communication skills, knowledge retention of material and increased affectivevariables related to learning (i.e., motivation and efficiency. In Fall 2013, changes were made toenhance and extend student learning at a higher level of cognition and transfer. Effectiveteaching practices and formative assessment procedures have been implemented for bothstudents and teaching assistants to enhance the quality and depth of student understandingthrough both classroom activities and student summative performance tasks (i.e., lab reports) tofacilitate learning for all students.In the last year of this period, students demonstrated an acceptance in learning via the flippedclassroom approach. The majority of students indicated they would not change anything aboutthe group learning process in the flipped classroom. Students noted limitations to learning;individual learning characteristics appeared to have an effect on student perceptions of learningin a flipped classroom. With the general success of the flipped approach and the availability ofnew, higher performance personal instrumentation, we transitioned all course activities to newhardware and software while also enhancing the personal interaction between students, teachingassistants and the instructor to address, as much as possible, how each student could best raisetheir level of expertise in electronics. This paper will address the impact of these changesmeasured both through student surveys and performance on class assignments and examinations.

Connor, K. A., & Newman, D., & Deyoe, M. M., & Lamendola, J. M. (2015, June), Transition to New Personal Instrumentation in a Flipped Classroom Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24938

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