(225g) Flipping the Classroom to Increase Student Engagement in an Elective Biochemical Engineering Course

Authors: 
Melvin, A., Louisiana State University
This presentation will focus on how tips and techniques from the ASEE Chemical Engineering Faculty Summer School were incorporated into an upper level biochemical engineering elective course to increase student engagement and interest in the topic. The author has taught this course five times and has made efforts with each offering to modify the course based on student input. In Louisiana, the majority of students enroll in chemical engineering based on their exposure to an interest in working for the petrochemical industry. As a result, many students are unaware that chemical engineers can work (or perform research) in the fields of health care and pharmaceuticals that involve learning about biology, biochemistry, and biochemical/biomedical engineering. Thus, the majority of students who enroll in the elective course may be interested in learning something about the topic but don’t want to put too much effort into the course due to their enrollment in other core chemical engineering classes. Additionally, the students’ preference is to work problems and examples in class instead of listening to traditional lectures. This is challenging in a biochemical engineering course because there is a substantial amount of biological background required. After the Summer School, the author decided to implement a flipped classroom approach to provide the students with greater opportunities for active learning during class time. To provide sufficient background on the biological content, the author elected to use in-class Kahoot! quizzes to engage and assess the students on their out-of-class reading assignments. This provided students with a chance to learn content on their own, creating an interactive in-class environment as opposed to traditional lectures. To teach the students about solving problems related to enzyme kinetics and cell growth dynamics, the author developed videos for the students to watch outside of class deriving the equations and balances used to solve problems. These videos allowed the students to work problems in class to solidify their understanding of course content. In this presentation the author will provide insight onto how these new instructional methods were incorporated into the class and discuss the informal assessment of student performance, course evaluations, and feedback on the effectiveness of flipping the classroom. Additionally, the author will provide feedback on how to implement a flipped class in a larger (>60 student) classroom setting.
Topics: