Flipped learning in a civil engineering module: student and instructor experiences

McCabe, Bryan Anthony (2019) Flipped learning in a civil engineering module: student and instructor experiences. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, `4 (1).


Flipped learning is a form of active learning in which the basic content is assimilated before scheduled classroom sessions, enabling more productive use of classroom time to cultivate problem-solving ability, a key requirement of engineering graduates. While the flipped learning approach has escalated in popularity in the last five years, there are relatively few case studies for civil engineering modules in the literature, and none in the Irish educational context. Experience of delivering a 3rd year soil mechanics module through flipped mode at NUI Galway over the past six years is presented in this paper. The manner in which the flipped approach has been interpreted is described, including the development of short videos, the workshop format of the classroom sessions and the assessment methods used. While the author is not in a position to provide definitive evidence of its effectiveness, students have found it to be a more convenient, engaging and effective learning experience, and surprisingly comfortable given the expectation for much greater activity in the classroom than would be expected in lectures. Finally, reflections from the instructor’s side, both the benefits and the challenges, are conveyed in the paper.

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