The use of flipped learning in an engineering technician management course
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Citation:Wilson, H.B. (2013). The use of flipped learning in an engineering technician management course. In C. Lemckert, G. Jenkins and S. Lang-Lemckert (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2013 AAEE Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,(Ed.),
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2775
BACKGROUND Flipped learning is an approach to teaching that essentially reverses the traditional teaching approach where the tutor delivers the content in class and then the students do exercises at home to provide a better understanding of the content and its application. In flipped learning this traditional approach is changed so that students learn the content in their own time before the class session and the class session is used to develop a better understanding of the content and its application. Flipped learning is already widely used and is becoming more popular in higher education. Research has indicated that it improves student performance and leads to better student engagement. However much of this research relates to arts and humanities courses which may benefit more from the approach. PURPOSE The purpose of this research was to determine whether using the flipped learning approach improved performance and student engagement in an engineering technician management course. METHOD An engineering management course has been delivered using flipped learning in 2013. The performance of the students in this flipped class in controlled assessments was compared with the performance of students who were taught the same content using a traditional lecture- based format in 2011 and 2012. Student views on the flipped learning approach were assessed from a questionnaire administered at the end of each course. RESULTS There was no difference between student performance in the flipped classes and the traditional classes. However the questionnaire indicated that a significant number of students preferred the flipped learning approach and felt that it was more effective and interesting than the traditional lecture-based approach. CONCLUSIONS The research indicated that the flipped learning approach used in the engineering management classes did not produce the performance improvements claimed by other research. This may have been due to how the approach was implemented or it may be that the approach does not yield improvements in engineering management type subjects. The course is still being developed and experience with the 2013 class has indicated possible improvements in the online presentation of the course content and in the class activities. Student engagement in the class has improved as a result of the use of the flipped learning approach as evidenced by the significant number of students who indicated their preference for the approach in the questionnaire and in student engagement in class activities.