Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Zappe, S., Leicht, R., Messner, J., Litzinger, T., and Lee, H.W., (2009) “’Flipping’ the Classroom to Explore Active Learning in a Large Undergraduate Course,” Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exhibition, 2009.

In traditional approaches to teaching engineering classes, the instructor plays the role of information conveyor, while the students assume a receiver role with primary responsibilities of listening and note-taking. Research into how students learn suggests that students need to be more actively engaged with the course material to maximize their understanding. The literature contains many examples of active learning strategies, such as teams solving problems in class and the use of student response systems with conceptual questions. Incorporating active learning strategies into a class means that there will be less time for delivering material via lecture. Therefore, instructors who choose to utilize active learning strategies must find ways to ensure that all required course content is still addressed. This paper discusses an instructional technique called the “classroom flip” model which was assessed in a larger, undergraduate architectural engineering class. In this model, lecture content is removed from the classroom to allow time for active learning, and the content that was removed is delivered to students via on-line video. This approach ‘flips’ the traditional use of lecture and more active learning approaches. Lecture occurs outside of class, and more active learning, such as problem solving, happens during class. Assessment data was collected to examine students’ use of the video lectures and perceptions of the classroom flip. The students’ feedback suggests that while the active learning and additional project time available in class improved their understanding, they would prefer that only about half the classes be flipped and some use of traditional lectures should be maintained.

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