A Grant to Study Flipped (Inverted) Classrooms


I will be leading a 4-institution team (USF, AAMU, ASU and Univ of Pitt) to improve and assess student learning in an inverted STEM classroom setting.  This is a 3-year study funded by National Science Foundation, and we will compare a hybrid classroom to the flipped classroom for a course in Numerical Methods.

Summary: Numerical methods are taught by many engineering disciplines throughout the nation and therefore more engaging and effective teaching of these methods could result in better prepared engineering graduates. When teaching numerical methods it is critical to cover not only theoretical concepts required for algorithm development and selection but also the precise language of computer programming required for algorithm implementation. This project is evaluating the efficacy of using an inverted classroom methodology to teach these diverse concepts.

Results from this project will include on-line materials that encourage and support use of active in-class pedagogical methods and assessments of these materials and methods. These results will inform the education community regarding the efficacy of teaching numerical methods using an Inverted classroom methodology. The materials will be readily available to engineering departments nationally and assessment results will help faculty better understand what aspects of numerical methods can be taught using an inverted methodology and also will give them the resources needed to teach in similar ways.

Multiple universities with diverse student populations are implementing the methods and materials of this project. Assessment and evaluation is performed by another university not affiliated with the implementers; therefore, evaluation is independent of the instructors. Evaluation of student performance is partially being assessed using a numerical methods concept inventory which is being developed by the program.

Successful results in this research could transform the way engineering programs teach numerical methods nationally.

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Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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