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Assessing Studio-based Learning in Material/Energy Balance Classes

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.243.1 - 26.243.13



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Paper Authors


Richard L. Zollars Washington State University

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Richard Zollars has been on the faculty at Washington State University for 36 years. He has had numerous educational grants, including two in support of an ongoing investigation of the use of studio-based learning techniques in regular classroom settings.

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Christopher Hundhausen School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Washington State University

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Christopher Hundhausen is an associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, where he directs the Human-centered Environments for Learning and Programming (HELP) Lab. Recipient of over $2.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Hundhausen applies the methods of human-computer interaction to the design and empirical evaluation of software and pedagogies to improve learning and retention in computing and engineering education.

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Derrick Wayne Smith University of Alabama in Huntsville

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Dr. Derrick Smith is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville's College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He has over 14 years of professional teaching and research experience within education. His research focuses on STEM education with a primary emphasis on students with visual impairments. He is highly interested in innovative pedagogies and technologies for STEM learning at all academic levels.

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Adam Scott Carter Washington State University

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Assessing Studio-based Learning in a Material/Energy Balance ClassesIn a studio-based learning environment, students learn not just by doing but also byproviding critiques of other student’s work as well as receiving critiques on their workfrom other students. Studio-based learning (SBL) techniques have been used in varietyof disciplines, most notably in architecture and fine arts. Engineering students often dothis in informal settings (e.g., study groups) but rarely do so in a formal classroomsetting. The critiquing activity is the strength of the learning activities in studio-basedlearning as it requires students to be active as well as encouraging students to explain(teach) the material to others, thus strengthening their understanding of the concepts. Thecritiquing activity also exercises higher levels of learning, as defined by Bloom’staxonomy, requiring activity up to and including judgment.Over the past three years we have incorporated studio-based learning into thematerial/energy balance class at this institution. Students work three problems using SBLstarting with a simple material balance problem and finishing with a material balanceproblem involving a chemical reaction and a recycle stream. Historical data from theclass shows that the SBL approach has dramatically reduced the percentage of studentswho do not successfully complete this class.We are now assessing whether the student’s analytic skills show improvement via the useof SBL. To do this we have developed a rubric for analyzing the on-line discussionsinvolving the students that are a part of the SBL approach. The details of the analyticapproach, and the results from the past three years of SBL activities, will be presented.

Zollars, R. L., & Hundhausen, C., & Smith, D. W., & Carter, A. S. (2015, June), Assessing Studio-based Learning in Material/Energy Balance Classes Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23582

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