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WIP: Student Outcomes From Rapidly Flipping a Large-Scale Biomedical Electronics Course

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division Poster Session (Works in Progress)

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Charles W. Peak Texas A&M University

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Dr. Charles W. Peak is an Instructional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Biomedical Engineering (2018) and his Master's (2014) and Bachelors (2012) in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. His interest include aligning program and course outcomes with industry needs, innovative teaching strategies at scale, and professional development of students.

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Prior to Covid-19 global pandemic many university professors favored a teacher-centered learning environment (i.e., traditional lecture). While professors would occasionally have “clicker questions” to check for understanding during the class time, most courses were widely devoted to transcribing notes. The quick transition to online learning formats has permitted a seismic shift to more student-centered learning environments. Our undergraduate Biomedical Electronics course had already recognized the need to transition to a flipped classroom model to enhance learning and was in the middle of a 4-year transition. The Covid-19 pandemic decreased the time-frame for this transition.

The goal of this project is to determine if transition to a flipped learning model classroom and rearrangement of course materials would improve student learning outcomes in a biomedical electronics course. Biomedical Electronics, is a 3rd year undergraduate course taken after completion of differential equations and a signals and systems course. In Academic year 2018-2019 and prior, the biomedical electronics course was taught in a traditional lecture format with two sections of approximately 80 students and five total summative assessments (exams). There was a recognized need for re-arrangement of course content into distinct time-domain and frequency-domain sections rather than an intermingling which increased student confusion. In academic year 2019-2020, the course was altered to four sections with two summative assessments (exams) and five formative assessments (quizzes). During this rearrangement, the teaching days switched from three days a week to two days a week. Subsequently, the instructor gradually introduced more student-centered learning by only instructing one day and providing challenge problems on the second day of each week. Additionally, the summative assessments became grouped to correlate with adaptation of content delivery: a time-domain exam and a frequency domain exam.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, largely due to Covid-19 limitations on in-person student numbers, the instructor further shifted towards a flipped classroom model. Recorded lectures provided the main content while “in class” days (mostly via Zoom) focused on working out problems. As Fall 2020 semester is occurring, assessments comparing learning outcomes from specific topics as well as the course as a whole will be employed. It is hypothesized that the student learning outcomes will see an increase compared to a traditional lecture style learning environment as also demonstrated by Lee [1]. However, mitigating factors may include differences in testing environments (at home vs in live-proctored), move to primarily online “in class days”, and the inability of the instructor to “read student faces” online to access their level of learning.

A three-year statistical analysis of student performance will be conducted. The raw scores of students from academic year 2018-2020 will be examined and related to the learning environment. ANOVA testing with appropriate null hypothesis and p-values to determine significance will be executed. This preliminary study will include instructor viewpoints of the transition and comments about perceived student learning with statistical support. In particular, as a large program (approximately 500 undergraduate students across three years), the ease of transferring to a flipped classroom model will be discussed.

[1] Andrew Lee, Haolin Zhu, James Middleton, "Effectiveness of flipped classroom for mechanics of materials," presented at the ASEE Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 28, 2016, 2016, 15734.

Peak, C. W. (2021, July), WIP: Student Outcomes From Rapidly Flipping a Large-Scale Biomedical Electronics Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38097

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