The main objective of this work is to show the implementation of a model that involves the availability of online videos and lectures in a newly designed classroom called the “Innovate Room” at our university. The combination of flipped learning as well as the use of such a learning space make the overall student experience a memorable one when compared to a traditional lecture model in courses that are usually difficult for most students of Architecture and Civil Engineering.
In the case of the Innovate Room, it is equipped with different projection capabilities and furniture that allows a class of up to thirty-two students to participate in a more collaborative manner with classmates and with the professor. The main idea of having such a classroom on Campus is to allow the connectivity of students and the professor using several projections simultaneously and encouraging the internet activity of students rather than forbidding it during a class. This new learning space has also good illumination that allows the video recording for each session using simple camcorders.
The online video repository on the other hand, offers students a prerecorded version of the topics that are covered in the selected courses and therefore they might advance prior to each session. Some classroom sessions then become problem solving sessions where collaborative work is done by small teams and the students have also the chance to either ask the professor some questions or review the video in their personal internet devices.
In this paper we show the perception of the students on using such a model in typical Mechanics of Structures courses for two different programs: Civil Engineering and Architecture programs after several semesters of the implementation of this model. The results show that students think that having a new kind of learning space where connectivity is encouraged rather than discouraged, allows them to be more motivated and engaged with a course that is usually considered difficult by the majority of students. Some results are shown comparing the final grades of previous classes using traditional classrooms and no video-repositories compared to the marks obtained by students who took the course with this new model. The new classroom also allows for the sessions to be recorded in a simple manner by the professor, which helps the students to review the session at a later time. Some results are also included regarding the preference of students to different video features, including length and type of recorded session.
The results of this work can be applied in designing new teaching models that involve the design of new spaces for engineering education, and we think it can improve the engagement of new generations of Engineering students in the twenty-first century.
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