June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1295.1 - 24.1295.13
Understanding the Benefits of the Flipped Classroom in the Context of Sustainable EngineeringAuthors: Jayne Marks, Kevin Ketchman, Lisa Brown, David Riley, Melissa BilecEngineering is a field marked by critical thinking, problem solving, and application of vast amounts ofscientific and technical knowledge. However, many college classes in this major focus on learningscientific material and often do not provide an opportunity for students to apply this material or developthe above skills necessary for success in the field. Because of this disconnect, not only in engineering,but also in classrooms everywhere, a teaching method known as the flipped classroom is gainingconsideration and implementation in education. With the flipped classroom, live class lectures are oftenmoved out of classroom and replaced with on-line videos, and active, project-based learning activitiesare done in their place. At the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and Pennsylvania State University (PennState) two sustainable engineering courses were flipped, and the impact this method had on thestudents was investigated.The sustainable engineering courses were centered around the National Energy Leadership Corps(NELC), a program designed to educate students and homeowners on energy use, efficiency, andindependence. Students were trained during one semester to conduct energy assessments inresidential single-family homes. Aspects of the courses included data collection (using an iPadapplication designed for NELC), infrared camera, and calculations of energy efficiency measures (EEM).The students delivered a report containing energy reductions and monetary savings for thehomeowner’s use in implementing retrofits.During this study, data was collected using pre- and post-confidence tests, a final course reflectionsurvey, and the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI). This data was thenanalyzed and used to develop conclusions on the students’ perception of the flipped classroom teachingmethod and the course.Students in both courses frequently expressed that they learned various personal skills such asleadership, listening, and communication, which were consistent with class objectives. The tones of thestudent responses were generally positive, and on the CUCEI, the students scored the class environmentabove average. The highest scoring section of the CUCEI, 4 out of 5, was “Personalization,” whichincludes professor availability, and highlights how a flipped classroom provides students with moreopportunity to interact and connect personally with the teacher. As expected, the “Involvement”section, pertaining to student participation in in-class activities and class discussions, scored high at 3.94out of 5. Removing lectures from the classroom created an active learning environment where moretime was dedicated to activities and discussions, in line with findings by Toto and Hien (2009). Studentcomments such as, “It was great that there was always time in class to ask about the module and topics Ididn’t understand,” or, “I thought it created a more comfortable learning environment in class andallowed students to learn in their own way at home,” further strengthen the conclusion that theflipped classroom is a successful teaching method for sustainable engineering courses.
Marks, J., & Ketchman, K. J., & Riley, D. R., & Riley Brown, L., & Bilec, M. M. (2014, June), Understanding the Benefits of the Flipped Classroom in the Context of Sustainable Engineering Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23228
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