Engineering Professor and Associate Dean Wins National Award for Most Outstanding Article

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemical Engineering Randy D. Weinstein, PhD
Randy D. Weinstein, PhD

"Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom," a paper by Villanova University College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemical Engineering Randy D. Weinstein, PhD, has been selected for the 2016 ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) Corcoran Award. Sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, the award is presented each year to the author of the most outstanding article published in Chemical Engineering Education (CEE).

The purpose of the Corcoran Award is to recognize and encourage outstanding contributions to chemical engineering education. The contribution may be in any area of chemical engineering teaching, practice, or theory as long as it is judged to have the potential for a significant and lasting contribution to education. Nominations are not accepted, and all published papers in a calendar year are automatically considered.

Dr. Weinstein’s paper examines student performance in an inverted thermodynamics course (lectures provided by video outside of class) compared to a traditional lecture class. In his study, Dr. Weinstein found that students in the inverted class performed better on their exams, with those in the bottom third of the inverted course showing the greatest improvement. His research also found that when material was presented in videos longer than 15 minutes, students did not perform as well when compared to material presented in shorter videos. Students also needed to be quizzed on video material frequently to incentivize keeping up with the video lectures and spending the time to comprehend the material presented outside of class.

Dr. Weinstein’s research on the inverted classroom has led to interviews with U.S. News & World Report, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Philadelphia Business Journal.

The Corcoran Award consists of a $1500 honorarium (per paper) and a commemorative plaque. Dr. Weinstein will be presented with the award at the Chemical Engineering Division Banquet of the ASEE Annual Conference in June.

This is the second prize that Villanova Chemical Engineering professors will be presented with at the upcoming ASEE conference. Professor William Kelly, PhD; Associate Professor Noelle Comolli, PhD; and Assistant Professors Jacob Elmer and Zuyi "Jacky" Huang have won the ASEE's Martin Award, which recognizes the most outstanding Chemical Engineering paper presented at the previous year's conference.