Flipping the Classroom: A Module Redesign to Foster Active Learning in Materials Science

Flipping the Classroom: A Module Redesign to Foster Active Learning in Materials Science

E. Mei, C. Wah (2015).  Flipping the Classroom: A Module Redesign to Foster Active Learning in Materials Science. 14.

Flipped classroom is a learning pedagogy which inverts the traditional learning method of classroom lecture into out-of-classroom self-directed learning. This method gives students the flexibility to study at their own pace in a specified time duration, thus being more responsible towards their learning. This paper aims to describe our journey in piloting flipped classroom as an active learning (CDIO Standard 8) method for the teaching of Materials Science module in the School of Engineering (SEG) in Nanyang Polytechnic and the outcome after one cycle of implementation.

In Singapore’s education system, students are enrolled into the polytechnic education with at least 4 different academic qualifications. The flipped classroom implementation in SEG aimed to promote active learning to the first-year students who came from diverse academic backgrounds. As active learning approach is different from the other learning methods that the students had experienced in their previous training, the response and performance of the students under the new approach are measured to gauge its effectiveness in meeting the students’ learning needs.

In this approach, we leave the classroom sessions for students to have more interactions and learning activities and for lecturers to conduct formative assessments on the learning outcomes. Students were engaged in classroom activities incorporating the real-world applications to enhance students’ understanding of the learning materials, to increase students’ interests in the subject matters, and to simulate professional engineering practices.

The strategies in implementing the classroom activities, from the aspect of planning and developing the learning materials and of conducting the activities, will be highlighted in the paper. This paper also examines the outcomes in terms of students’ performances in assessment and perception towards the active learning methodology. Reflections on the strengths and areas for improvements in our approach will be shared together with the future course of action to enhance students’ learning at the polytechnic.

Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu, China, June 8-11 2015

Authors (New): 
Eunice Goh Shing Mei
Choo Keng Wah
Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore
Flipped Classroom
Active learning
Materials Science
Constructive Aligned Curriculum
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