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K. Photinon

National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
Flipped Classroom is a reversal of traditional classroom where the roles of instructors and learners, as well as the activities inside and outside classroom are flipped. The concept itself is not new but it has recently been widely adopted mainly due to the rapid emergence of online education technology. After a successful adoption of the flipped classroom to Chemical Engineering Principles (CN1111FC) in 2014, the flipped classroom was partially implemented in the subsequent semester with Chemical Engineering Principles (CN1111) and Fluid-Solid Systems (CN3124) at National University of Singapore (NUS). CN1111 and CN1111FC are offered to the first year students and CN3124 is offered to second year and above. The two components of a flipped classroom are online lecture videos and class activities in which a group of 3 members are tasked with open-ended problems. The teaching format and assessments are similar for all three courses. The class size of CN1111FC, CN1111 and CN3124 was 28, 156 and 44 students, respectively. Unlike the CN1111FC roster, who were fully aware of the adoption of a flipped classroom, the rosters of CN1111 and CN3124 were informed about the flipped classroom approach only after their enrolment. This meant they did not actively select the flipped classroom approach. It was anticipated that the student experience on flipped classrooms of CN1111 and CN3124 roster would be similar to that of CN1111FC which was positive overall. However, while the feedback was satisfying for CN3124 roster, CN1111 feedback was critical, despite having implemented the same approach as CN1111FC. This unexpected outcome is analysed and explained through Vykotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) concept, Bloom’s taxonomy, and learners’ classification framework for Differentiated Instruction (DI). Several recommendations for successful adoption of flipped classroom for college engineering courses are also proposed.