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Flipped Lectures in Engineering Fundamentals

  • EF 151 and EF 152 are large classes that all engineering students take
  • Each class is 4 credit hours – (Three 50 minute large lectures; two 75 minute rectations, 24 students/recitation)
  • Want to find alternatives to large lecture (400-500 students in large class, 100-200 in small class)
  • Discussion/interaction still difficult with a large class
  • Material is very quantitative
  • Textbook – recommended. Reading assignments, not effective, lots of other online resources.
  • Have had Mediasite (151152) recorded lectures available for years
  • Used tag-team teaching and clickers for years
  • Don’t want to add more work for students
    • Fall EF 151 students reported spending an average of 10.1 hours per week on homework
    • A common theme in ASEE papers on flipped classroom has been to “create time” for active learning.
    • Active learning already exists in EF courses through the recitation

Flipped Lectures

  • Started with Friday lectures
  • Created an equivalent online lecture consisting of multiple videos embedded into an online homework.
  • Two slightly different approaches to using the lecture time
    • EF 151
      • “Flex Fridays” – optional attendance
      • Give complete lecture
      • No clickers (or clickers don’t count)
      • All students have to answer video questions
      • Approximately 30% attendance
    • EF 152
      • “Fabulous Fridays” – optional attendance
      • Homework help/discussion or lecture summary + HW help
      • No clickers
      • All students have to answer video questions
      • Approximately 8% attendance
      • Spring, 2014 class primarily made up of Fall, 2014 EF 151 students

Online Lecture

  • Videos embedded into an online homework (Demo requires UTK NetID login)
  • Each video 5-10 minutes (approximately 1 video per slide)
  • Videos made with Screencast-o-matic (PC/Tablet) or with Doceri (PC/iPad)
  • Hosted on dedicated class web server
  • Formatted to work with phone/tablet/computer
  • One or two ‘simple’ questions per video
  • Some educational research has suggested looking at questions first to help organize your thoughts
  • After initial learning curve creation time is approximately 4 hours/lecture
  • Harder to change topics/sequence/schedule
  • A small mistake in the video is hard to fix


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  • Courses already had many aspects of a flipped lecture, so the real question is what is the best way to present the material.
  • With many learning styles, there is no easy answer.
  • First-year students seemed to struggle the most with time management/discipline to watch the video. However, these are valuable things for first-year students to learn.
  • Just having Friday different may not be the most effective. Other options? All video lectures and 3 recitations per week? Smaller live lectures w/ recitations?

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