The objective of this evidence-based study is to synthesize best practices for developing flipped classroom material in large-scale first year courses. These best practices are extracted from three years of flipped classroom implementation experience in both technical and design engineering courses mandatory for first year students. This research will present valuable lessons and analyze differences between the suitability of different course types for the flipped educational model.
Best Practice #1: Implementation of the flipped teaching and learning approach should be associated with three phases. Starting with a pre-classroom phase, followed by an in-class active learning approach, and finally the third stage that allows students to practice a real-world application of the concepts that learned in the two previous stages.
Best Practice #2: The pre-class component of this learning approach cannot be a replacement for the in-class leaning. In other words, the pre-class component should add value, rather than replace, conventional in-class teaching. From a different angle, this also means that flipped classrooms teaching approach should not be chosen as a cost-saving or time-saving option.
Best Practice #3: Flipped classroom instructors should not rely solely on traditional performance assessment of students. One of the advantages of online teaching is the huge size of invaluable data that is collected as students access the provided online learning resources. For example, learning management systems such as Desire2Learn are often used as a platform to provide teaching and learning media. Most learning management systems provide substantial amounts of data regarding student interaction and related use behavior. Mining this data allows us to analyze students’ study habits. Although not all available data may show significant statistical correlation with students’ study behavior, a data mining approach with the support of additional data collection via questionnaire or surveys can lead to a valuable set of information for improving the curriculum or teaching methods.
This paper will present implementation and feedback findings from multiple flipped offerings of an introductory programming course and a first-year engineering design and communication course. In addition to detailing the best practices above, this study will compare and analyze the impact of flipped material in technical versus design-based courses, with data expected from the Fall 2017 first-year cohort.
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