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The shift to a global economy, the move to lean management structures, and the need to serve an increasingly diverse learning community requires a transformative curriculum that not only recognizes alternative modes of intellectual inquiry but also helps students develop the complex thinking skills required to help industries be successful in today's global market place. While this is the promise of higher education, a substantial body of research indicates that cognitive growth remains elusive for most universities and for most disciplines, including engineering. In this paper, we discuss a framework for facilitating open ended problem solving through the use of an inverted classroom. A basic premise of the inverted classroom model is that richer open-ended problem solving experiences can be conducted within the classroom environment. Required readings and preparatory work through online interactive materials provide one opportunity for intellectual diversity and allow lectures to be replaced with more engaged pedagogies that require problems to be viewed from multiple perspectives. An example format and preliminary data for a course in cost estimating is presented.
Date of Conference: 18-21 Oct. 2009