This research aims to explore the benefits of a flipped learning approach for students who are taking an introductory-level curriculum on bridge computer aided design in terms of learning attitude and achievement within the curriculum. In this study, collaborative problem based learning (CPBL) supported by flipped learning, a blended learning design, was integrated into a high school bridge computer aided design curriculum. Ninety-one 17-year-old students from two K11 classes were assigned randomly to an experimental group and a control group for the study, respectively. To assess the students' achievements and learning attitudes in the different groups, an 8-week (16 h in total) pre- and post-test quasi-experimental study was designed. The results confirmed the effectiveness of the flipped learning approach. Significant differences were found between the experimental and control group in terms of students' achievements. In the experimental group, students' learning attitudes, motivation and self-evaluation were enhanced. In conclusion, the results show that the flipped learning approach has a positive effect on the transfer of learning. Based on the findings obtained, recommendations for the improvement of future K12 engineering education instruction using the flipped learning approach are provided. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 23:514–526, 2015; View this article online at DOI 10.1002/cae.21622
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