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Professor Luke Lee is "Flipping" the Way His Students Learn

May 8, 2019

In the age of technology, Luke Lee, Professor of Engineering, is bringing innovation to his classroom. About six years ago, Professor Lee started implementing a "flipped" classroom model in his mechanics of materials course (ENGR 121). He started with one video, but after seeing how beneficial this style of learning was for his students, he began to use it more and more, so that he now uses videos to teach two-thirds of the topics in his courses.

A flipped classroom model refers to a style of teaching where videos are viewed outside of scheduled class time, while regular class time is used to promote deeper learning. It's a student-centered approach to teaching classes, offering the opportunity to learn more proactively and engage in collaborative, problem-based learning techniques.

Professor Lee has contributed to two research articles on the subject of flipped classrooms, where he posited that this student-centered teaching model promotes student engagement, improves student attitudes, and increases student retention and motivation. "Most students enjoy flipped instruction because we get to practice more problems in class and be active," Professor Lee said. "I don't have to speak the whole time and can instead work with students who may be struggling." He also stated that flipped classrooms can be applied to other disciplines, not just engineering, as it helps students with topics that may be more difficult. 

Professor Lee believes that it's a model of teaching that can be applied to other disciplines, not just engineering. He creates videos based on the topics his students need the most help with, and instructors of other disciplines can do the same.

By continuing to use the flipped classroom model, Professor Lee hopes his students will not only gain a deeper understanding, but improve their practical, problem-solving skills as well. "I want my students to feel more confident in their abilities," Professor Lee said. With a flipped classroom, he can help students do exactly that.

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