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Experience using active learning to flip a required writing-intensive process control and instrumentation course

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152178895.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152178895)
Authors:   K A Janni
Keywords:   Instrumentation, Process Control, Teaching, Flipped course, Active learning, Videos

Abstract. Active learning and narrated PowerPoint videos have been used over the past three years to teach a required writing-intensive engineering course on process control and instrumentation. Twenty eight class activities were used, collected and graded to assess each self-organized groups’ understanding. Eighty-one narrated PowerPoint videos were produced to present lecture material, lab materials and writing instruction. Material for each lecture or lab was presented with one to five videos approximately two to 19 minutes long. Students were not required to access the videos and in 2014 the number of videos accessed by each student ranged from six to 78. Many videos were accessed multiple times by multiple students. Videos were accessed before class and after class. No relation between grade earned and number of videos accessed was observed. Initial feedback to the videos and class activities collected through anonymous online surveys was very positive. Most students were either very satisfied or satisfied with both the videos and the class activities. However, over the past two years one and two students out of 25 and 34, respectively, expressed unhappiness with the videos in an anonymous survey early in the course. From the course instructor’s perspective the class activities were a great way to engage students in the class content and were superior to passively listening to a lecture. Students working together teach each other. Self-produced videos can be updated as needed as course content is revised. Development of the videos and the class activities initially takes more time and effort than traditional preparation for lecture presentations.

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