Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

Improvement of Learning Outcome in Material Science through Inverted Classroom Techniques and Alternative Course Assessment

Abstract

Anja Pfennig

Material Science is known to first year mechanical engineering students as
one of the fundamental courses with high work load. The knowledge of the complex
science of materials enables students to select appropriate engineering materials in
different designs due to acquired knowledge on the correlation of materials
properties, microstructure and their intended manipulation. These abilities are not
well constituted in one final exam. Therefore peer-to-peer lecture film supported
inverted classroom scenarios were established to work in the course. These were
accompanied by a newly developed Moodle course following the blended learning
approach that gives students the chance to cumulative accomplish micro-grades via
multiple activities, such as tests, lectures, presentations, forum discussions, written
homework and glossary entries. These grades are summed to obtain the overall
course grade. An improved learning outcome is demonstrated in high quality class
discussions and most -important to students- in better grades (average 43/60=B)
compared to those being assessed by one final exam only (average 39/69=C+). The
majority of students agreed on enhanced study skills when forced to study
throughout the entire semester instead of learning intensely towards the end of the
semester. This case study introduces the learning structure as well as graded
activities, qualitatively evaluates the course and semi-quantitatively compares
activity results to former class results.

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