‘Flipped’ engineering raises pass rates

“Flipping” and “blending” a San Jose State engineering class raised pass rates dramatically. The university partnered with edX on the pilot.

Eighty randomly selected students in an entry-level engineering course watched online lectures from MIT (the flip), while solving problems in class, with the professor’s help (the blend).  Ninety-one percent of the flipped students passed the class. Only 55 and 59 percent of non-flipped students passed.

All-online classes tend to have low pass rates. Community college students say they feel “on their own” in all-online courses.

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  1. Florida resident says:

    Could there be self-selection:
    those who decided to watch online MIT classes — they were stronger to begin with ?
    Your F.r.

    • Mark Roulo says:

      “Eighty randomly selected students” is intended to remove self selection.

      • Florida resident says:

        Dear Mark Ruolo:
        To be candid, I did not notice at first this qualification,
        “Eighty randomly selected students”.
        Bot think about it: how much do you trust the researchers, who wanted very much this result to be true,
        in real “random selection”?
        Hints: 1) the article is published in a newspaper, not in research jouirnal. 2) the number of students who did not take those online lectures, remains unknown.
        Your truly, F.r.

  2. I found an essay by Alex Tabbarok interesting in that they’d found they could teach a course online in half the time of a live lecture. The supposition was the elimination of repetition necessary for live performance. Instead students could rewind and repeat. But I don’t think that leverages the feature to the utmost.

    In a flipped class, a student could watch two or three lectures on the same subject in the same time as one live lecture. The second factor in studying is comparing and contrasting different sources offering differing approaches to the material, i.e., supplementing thought. I think the future is instead of an online lecture, there will be a pool of them with the professor running the class assigning one as the common core with the others rated as to their strengths in refining certain subtopics. Then the “blending” occurs in class under the “coaching” of the professor.