Fall 2016 - Professor Kate Poirier

“HW #7: Review of Learning Matlab in the Inverted Classroom”

This article discuss the difference between the traditional classroom and the inverted classroom of university leveled courses. The traditional classroom entails the student teacher relationship, where students come in receive a lecture, take notes, and may ask questions. Then they take the information from the classroom and show what they learned through take home assignments. These assignments are submitted and students are assessed by the professor to determine whether or not the students are learning in any given course. As noted by the author, this cycle repeats itself. The author posits STEM courses tend to be an exception to the traditional classroom and they lean towards a more inverted classroom where most of the transmission of the material is learned at home rather than by the professor during class time, unlike the traditional classroom, leaving more time for assimilation of the material given. This type of learning structure is becoming more and more common among grade levels K-12 along with college leveled courses. These courses that include lab time, project, or problem-based learning tend to be highly effective in prepping students for real life experiences in their field of study.

The author used a study done by the creator of Matlab, a pedagogical tool used for problem solving, particularly for engineering students.  The creator designed a course surrounding Matlab and the computer program was deemed to be more effective than the previously used programming textbooks. The students where able to be assessed quickly at the start of a class, followed by hands on learning using Matlab, which is helpful in learning codes for computer programing and input. Although, according to the study, the students had mixed feelings on the computer program in terms of how much they found it useful in areas outside the course. As noted by the author, the thought of an inverted classroom places the learning on students and has great promise for deepening students learning when used effectively.

I have concluded, from years of experience, that an inverted classroom is a highly effective method of teaching and learning. I find that technology is all around us and we should use it to our advantage. I have learned that students tend to respond better to hands on learning, which I call active participation, than a lecture from a professor. Also, students do not have to worry about the pressure put on them to finish take home assignments or referring back to their notes to finish a task they should of learned during transmission. I find that the material sinks in more and the students get a chance to share and learn from one another.

I picked this article because it spoke on the computer program Matlab. I have taken an introductory course for engineering and the main program we used was Matlab. I found it to be very helpful and easy to use. I enjoyed using the tool and did very well in the course. We also did our homework and assessments using the program. Like the students in the study, I have not used Matlab outside of the course but then again I am not an engineering major. Still, I found the course more enlightening because of this program and would recommend other professors to find a way to implement it in their technology and math courses. More over, I believe learning should be fun and sometimes our new advancements in technology can be geared to achieving that goal. Even though, nothing beats an experienced professional guiding students to meet their potential a more hands on learning experience may be the key to a more effective learning experience.



  1. Mei Zhu

    I am glad that you are very good at Mathlab. I am bad at it because I am not familiar with the special commands. I wish I know it well, so I can do better in the Numerical Method class. 🙂

  2. Tyniqua

    There are guides within the program that helps you with the special commands. I liked it.

  3. Kate Poirier

    Sounds like an interesting article, Tyniqua! Where and when did it appear? The inverted or flipped classroom is appealing to me. I haven’t really tried it myself, but have tried to incorporate a lot more individual work and group work into my own lessons.

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