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Using Team-based Learning to Ensure Student Accountability and Engagement in Flipped Classrooms

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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

New Teaching Pedagogies: Methods and Assessments

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1686.1 - 26.1686.16



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Paper Authors


Jennifer Mott California Polytechnic State University

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Jennifer Mott is faculty in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Her research interests include using Team Based Learning in engineering courses and first year engineering programs.

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Steffen Peuker California Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Steffen Peuker holds the James L. Bartlett, Jr. Assistant Professor position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the California State University in San Luis Obispo. He is teaching courses, including laboratories, in the HVAC concentration and mechanical engineering including first-year courses. Dr. Peuker's educational research focuses on increasing student retention and success in engineering through implementation of a student success focused approach in introduction to engineering courses. In addition, his work in engineering education focuses on collaborative learning, student-industry cooperation, and developing innovative ways of merging engineering fundamentals and engineering in practice and research. He can be reached at

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Ensuring Student Accountability and Engagement in Flipped Classrooms Using Team Based Learning Team Based Learning (TBL) is a specific pedagogical tool that emphasizes collaborativelearning and is distinct from other team or group activities because it follows a prescribedsequence of individual work and group work, and includes immediate feedback as well as peerevaluation. TBL is similar to a flipped classroom in the sense that students have a reading to dobefore class and prepare for in-class discussions and activities. The uniqueness of TBL is that inclass students work in permanent teams throughout the quarter, activities follow a prescribedprocess–first a reading assignment, then an in-class quiz, and finally problems solved in classthat require students to apply facts and concepts from the pre-reading. The advantages of usingTBL in the class room include: (1) students are held accountable for individual (pre-class) andgroup (in-class) work. (2) The responsibility for learning shifts from the instructor to thestudents, promoting lifelong learning skills. (3) The majority of class time is used for teamassignments that apply the course content applied to large difficult problems. (4) The studentsare actively engaged during class time. Team Based Learning has been implemented in five mechanical engineering courses inthe thermal sciences. The courses range from fundamental foundation courses, e.g.,thermodynamics, to a senior level technical elective. To assess the success of using Team BasedLearning, the Team Based Learning Student Assessment Instrument (TBL-SAI), wasadministered at the end of the course term. The TBL-SAI is validated to measure (1) studentaccountability, (2) TBL vs. lecture preference, and (3) student satisfaction. In addition, studentgrades, anonymous student feedback, and student comments give an indication about the level ofsuccess of the TBL taught courses. Over 150 students have participated in TBL taught mechanical engineering courses. Theresults of the TBL-SAI indicated that 93% of the students have felt accountable to not onlythemselves, but also to their team to participate in the learning. The individual quiz scoresconfirm that students are coming to class prepared. The majority of students—72% showed apreference for TBL—compared to lecture instruction. In addition, 87% of the students weresatisfied with the course. Student comments ranged, but in general students commented on theuniqueness of the course format and that they remembered the course material better comparedto their lecture based courses. The results show that students are accountable for their learning in a TBL flippedclassroom. Students were engaged in the classroom talking to each other and the instructor aboutthe process and answers to the in-class solved problems. The TBL-SAI results show a positiveexperience of the students. The course instructors reported the students are were prepared forclass and were engaged in the activities, the class discussions were in depth and covered a largerange of topics, making student-instructor interactions more professional.

Mott, J., & Peuker, S. (2015, June), Using Team-based Learning to Ensure Student Accountability and Engagement in Flipped Classrooms Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25022

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015