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An Online Course for Professional Development of Chemical Engineering COOPs and Interns

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Virtual and Web Learning in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Richard A. Davis University of Minnesota Duluth

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Richard Davis is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has BS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and the University of California Santa Barbara. His teaching and research interests include the pedagogy of engineering education, process modeling and simulation applied to mineral processing, unit operations of separations, air pollution control, and environmental management.

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An online course was created for professional development of chemical engineering students participating industrial cooperative education and internships. The course guides students through a set of exercises designed to cycle through the four stages of Kolb’s learning theory: experience, reflection, generalization, and experimentation. Students naturally acquire concrete professional experience while practicing in an industrial setting. Instead of a traditional approach to coop education that concludes the industry experience with a reflective report, our approach uses small reflective exercises distributed through the coop/internship period that focus on a set of professional competencies. Students complete Kolb’s cycle using the key process steps of project management as a laboratory of generalization and experimentation with professional skills. It was concluded that students accelerated their professional development with periodic reflection and experimentation along with timely assessment and feedback from the instructor.

Davis, R. A. (2016, June), An Online Course for Professional Development of Chemical Engineering COOPs and Interns Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26232

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