June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.49.1 - 26.49.9
A group project based approach to induce learning in engineering thermodynamics A group project was introduced to undergraduate students in engineering thermodynamics.The goal was to provide students an opportunity to work in groups to apply fundamentalprinciples of thermodynamics that were taught in class. The principle motivation behindintroduction of the group project were to examine if learning effectiveness is improved whenstudents work in groups and also to determine whether application of fundamental principles toreal-life problems enhance student learning experience. The undergraduate class includedstudents from a range of engineering disciplines, including mechanical engineering, civilengineering and electrical engineering at mostly the junior and senior levels. The lectures in classprimarily discuss fundamental principles related to the first and second laws of thermodynamicswith some examples of applications related to power cycles and refrigeration. For the project, thestudents were encouraged to explore relevant topics from day-to-day life where principles ofthermodynamics could be employed. Each group comprised 5-7 students with varyingperformance based on quizzes, home work and in-class exams. The projects were evaluatedbased on a written report and group presentation that clearly mentioned the contribution of eachmember. Additionally, students were encouraged to make anonymous comments on their overallexperience in working towards the project. The outcomes of the assignments as well asanonymous comments are analyzed to provide qualitative and quantitative insight into theeffectiveness of the student group projects. Overall, this article will present the outcome of thestudent group projects and its effectiveness in engaging them and improving their understandingof principles of thermodynamics, relative to their overall engagement and performance based onother assignments.
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