Flipping the Controls Classroom Around a MOOC
de la Croix, Jean-Pierre
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Bridging the theory-practice gap in controls education is a well-known challenge. In this paper, we discuss how one can bridge this gap using a flipped classroom. Based on the recent MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Control of Mobile Robots, we flipped the classroom in a senior robotics and controls class at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The students participated in the MOOC and came to class prepared to solve controls problems on robots. Key to this experience was not only the delivery of theoretical concepts via the MOOC, but also a hardware/software platform that provided a learning environment where exploratory, practical tinkering was grounded in solid theory. This paper reports on the findings of the flipped classroom experiment, as well as discusses why this classroom format is ideal for controls courses.