Improving and Assessing Student Learning in an Inverted STEM Classroom

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project will develop tools for successfully inverting (also called flipping) a STEM course in Numerical Methods at three diverse universities. We will statistically compare student performance and student satisfaction between the inverted and noninverted classroom settings. As part of the tool development and assessment plan, we will develop 1) a valid and reliable concept inventory to measure conceptual understanding of Numerical Methods and, hence, facilitate instructors in evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of their individual instructional methods. 2) online self-assessment quizzes to allow students to become actively engaged with the information and their learning of Numerical Methods, with features including unlimited attempts, algorithm-based, leading course management systems integrability, cost-free, instant feedback, and automatic grading. 3) a final examination based on multiple-choice questions to assess low level learning and open ended questions to assess higher-order learning. Intellectual Merit: With most content and assessment tools already developed under prior support from NSF to teach an inverted classroom, we are in an excellent position to gather and analyze data about student performance and student satisfaction. The formalized tools proposed in this study will further add to the triangulation of data for reliable and valid conclusions. The effect of using inverted classroom to improve higher-order thinking in STEM students is especially significant. Broader Impact: The present open courseware resource currently receives more than 1 million page views/year and 800,000 video views/year. This grant will expand its impact on STEM education by a collaboration that includes 4 investigators from University of South Florida, Arizona State University, Alabama A&M University, and University of Pittsburg, while ensuring that all materials are developed for and work well with diverse student populations. The focus of the assessment efforts will be on underrepresented minorities and transfer students as well as over-traditional-age adult and part-time students, and diverse STEM majors. The lessons learned in this project would be easy to institutionalize in most STEM courses. To inform the outcomes and overall goals of this work, the overarching question would be, to what extent does the inverted classroom enhance students' 1) cognitive and affective learning, 2) ownership of learning, and 3) ability to demonstrate greater competence in Numerical Methods-type courses that are critical to successful completion of STEM programs? Dissemination avenues of project materials include the Holistic Numerical Methods websitehttp://nm., social media, the adaptation websites of each instructor, advertisements in ASEE Prism magazine, direct mailing to instructors teaching Numerical Methods, and application centers of computational package companies. To self-sustain the project beyond the funding period, we are using state-of-art methods such as 1) self-publishing customized textbooks on Numerical Methods, which are of low cost to students while still generating healthy creator revenues, 2) using Google AdSense on the online resource website, and 3) generating revenue via YouTube partnerships. Results will be shared at major STEM education and professional society conferences. The findings of the project will be published in STEM education journals.
Effective start/end date1/1/148/31/17


  • NSF: Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR): $109,634.00


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