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Board 35: Work in Progress: Developing a Multi-dimensional Method for Student Assessment in Chemical Engineering Laboratory Courses

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30014

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Daniel D. Anastasio Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Daniel Anastasio is an assistant professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2009 and 2015, respectively. His primary areas of research are game-based learning in engineering courses and membrane separations for desalination and water purification.

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Heather Chenette Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Heather Chenette is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her professional interests include enhancing student learning in the classroom and creating opportunities for students to learn about membrane materials and bioseparation processes through research experiences.

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Gregory T. Neumann Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Gregory received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and later received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. his research interests are in heterogeneous catalysis as well as engineering pedagogy, in particular, the overlap of the technical research with teaching to improve the quality of laboratory learning.

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Tony Ribera Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Tony Ribera serves as the Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He most recently worked at the Indiana University School of Medicine where he served as the Director of Program Evaluation in the Office of Medical Student Education. Tony has a PhD from Indiana University in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

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Abstract

The undergraduate laboratory course is often viewed as one of the most important classes in the chemical engineering curriculum as it is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with equipment and concepts they have learned in their previous classes. At the authors’ academic institution, the chemical engineering faculty are in the process of planning changes to the laboratory curriculum. It was clear that benchmarking existing infrastructure, space needs, and equipment improvements was a foundational piece of the discussion, and so too was a benchmarking of the pedagogical practices and efficacy of those practices already in place. Therefore, a means of assessment was required to track if students showed learning and/or skill gains from newer laboratory structures when compared to existing ones.

This work-in-progress paper focuses on the development and implementation of these assessment methods. Preliminary quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a complete chemical engineering laboratory sequence is presented, focusing on assessment of students’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills. Validated self-assessment surveys were used to collect information about student attitudes and knowledge of laboratory practices. One instrument was slightly modified, but not in a way that invalidates the instrument. An existing, validated rubric was used to assess technical writing, and an electronic-based skills test was developed to assess laboratory skills and concepts specific to chemical engineering. This preliminary data will serve as the baseline for future studies of the chemical engineering laboratory course.

The preliminary study tracks one cohort of approximately 60 students through the complete laboratory sequence and is aimed at investigating if students’ attitudes, knowledge, and/or skills change throughout the sequence. Discussion will include potential reasons for the observed trends, as well as strengths and limitations of the assessment methods which may be apparent from the preliminary data. The authors wish to solicit feedback from chemical engineering faculty, course instructors, and professionals related to the essential learning objectives for chemical engineering laboratory courses and best practices and common methods for assessing the efficacy of laboratory instruction. The intent is to identify relevant existing metrics, as well as to refine or develop metrics that can be used to inform decisions regarding proposed changes in chemical engineering laboratory curriculum and laboratory pedagogy.

Anastasio, D. D., & Chenette, H., & Neumann, G. T., & Ribera, T. (2018, June), Board 35: Work in Progress: Developing a Multi-dimensional Method for Student Assessment in Chemical Engineering Laboratory Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30014

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