Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Roger Carlsen (Committee Member), Travis Doom (Advisor), John Gallagher (Committee Member), Michael Raymer (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


New educational pedagogies are emerging in an effort to increase the number of new engineers available to enter the workforce in the coming years. One of the re-occurring themes in these pedagogies is variations of the flipped classroom. Often the additional classroom time gained from flipping is used to reinforce learning objectives. It is hypothesized that it might be more beneficial to students if a portion of that time is used to address common non-cognitive barriers that prevent students from succeeding in the major. In a freshman Introductory Computer Science course, three different pedagogies are compared: a hybrid lecture-active learning pedagogy, a fully flipped classroom pedagogy, and a fully flipped classroom with added barrier interventions pedagogy. All three groups are taught in SCALE-UP classrooms. While fully flipping the classroom shows a slight increase to student progression over the hybrid classroom, it is not significant. When barrier interventions are added to address motivation and interest, opportunity, psychosocial skills, cognitive skills, and academic preparedness a significant increase in student progression occurs. Students with a low level of academic preparation are most impacted by the change. Fully-flipped classrooms with barrier interventions are implemented over the two-year core sequence for Computer Science and Engineering majors. The result shows no statistically observable change in progression rates. This provides hope that students are not just persisting through Computer Science I to fail in later courses. The impact of the new pedagogy on under-represented female students also shows a benefit to students with a low level of academic preparation. Students from under-represented ethnic students saw the most benefit from the barrier interventions if they had a high level of academic preparedness. This suggests that these students may have been failing to progress at disproportionate rates for non-cognitive reasons, giving credence to the concept of using classroom time to address non-technical skills.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded