June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.186.1 - 14.186.8
Abstract The modern educational setting is gradually becoming infused with new pedagogical approaches including the use of hands-on active elements. This is particularly important in developing nations where student exposure to industrial equipment is limited. This paper presents results from a study in a Chemical Engineering Fluid Flow class. In contrast to an earlier study where there was only one lecture group and one hands-on group, this study alternates the two groups between lecture based and hands-on activities with one group serving as a control for the other. As in the previous study, a preliminary analysis of the results shows similar improvement on concept inventory performance for students receiving information through lecture and those participating in the hands-on active exercise. However, a survey reveals that students perceive important long term benefits in the form of conceptual understanding, enlightening discussions with peers and instructors, and overall learning satisfaction with the hands-on active mode in comparison to the traditional lecture mode. A thorough analysis of the new classroom pedagogy and its benefits is presented. Introduction The traditional lecture method of dispensing education is gradually becoming outmoded due to its inherent passivity and abstraction. Especially for certain technical courses, a straight run lecture would not guarantee adequate or high conceptual gains for the students, leaving too much to the imagination. According to the Dale retention cone 1, students tend to retain only 5% of what they hear, 10% of what they read, 20% of what they see, 50% of what they discuss 75% of what they practice and 90% of what they teach. Kolb’s 2 experiential learning model also reinforces the idea that cooperative, hands-on, active and problem based learning greatly enhance conceptual understanding and retention. Chickering and Erhmann 3 suggest that technology is invaluable in implementing the seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education 4. Chi 5 hypothesizes that concepts are more difficult to learn when a) they are not directly observable (for instance the onset of turbulent flow in a pipe) and b) when macroscopic patterns arise from unobservable microscopic phenomena (for instance diffusion of mass, momentum and energy). The attempt to address student learning barriers in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Nigeria using miniaturized industrial process equipment and a novel, concept- driven pedagogy is an innovative effort aimed at addressing some of the challenges facing higher education in developing nations. In this paper we assess the impact of using Desktop Learning Modules (DLMs) to assist in teaching fluid flow principles of relevance to the education of chemical engineers. Furthermore, we assess the impact on conceptual understanding compared to traditional lectures, and survey the students on how a hands-on active learning (HAL) approach impacts their classroom interactions, creating ones own understanding, enhancement of team skills, etc.
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