Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

Font Size: 
Flipping the classroom and turning the grades – a solution to teach unbeloved phase diagrams to engineering students
Anja Pfennig

Last modified: 29-05-2017


Phase diagrams may simply be described as alloying maps in material science. However, the required thermodynamic background knowledge is high level and understanding the cooling procedure of metal melts as well as microstructure of metal alloys is challenging. Common teaching material presents results, but not how to get there and leaves frustrated first year engineering students behind. Knowledge on “how to read” phase diagrams is expected from teachers in advanced courses, but requirements are seldomly met by the students. Teaching phase diagrams in “inverted classroom”szenarios is a method to let the students study the science on their own and then take time to discuss their questions and do extended hands on lectures or exercises in class. Implementing the inverted classroom approach has been proven to be successful in terms of learing outcome, problem solving skills related to phase diagrams and in improving grades. Although the time of preparation is raised by a factor of approximately 4 for 2 four-hour classroom sessions, the positive and sustainable learning outcomes make it fun to teach  and worth the effort.

Full Text: PDF