June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.243.1 - 15.243.12
There is a need for faculty to integrate their research and teaching activities. This call has be- come more strident especially within research universities. In fact, funding agencies such as the NSF are providing strong motivation to include educational components as part of the broader impact of research proposals. This paper describes an example of a new idea from the research lab in the form of a multichannel evaporator being brought into a classroom with an inductive learning environment for testing and analysis by the students. Hands-on activities with the equipment are designed to promote understanding of heat- and mass-transfer principles. The evaporators utilize novel open-coil capillary channels that are being developed for various appli- cations including intensified processes. Activities, concept questions, and a teaching strategy continue to be modified to center on classroom implementation of this evaporator. Targeted as- sessment in the form of pre and post concept tests was administered but the results were not sta- tistically significant. Students reacted positively to the opportunity to test a new system that cannot be found in textbooks.
Despite numerous articles that report a weak correlation between technical research and effective teaching [1-3], a few studies have found a positive correlation between the two . Astin in his monumental work reports that research-oriented universities in fact impact negatively on meas- ures of student cognitive and affective development . Astin attributed this to a low priority given to undergraduate teaching at such institutions. This low priority to teaching is also tied to faculty hiring and reward structure which is heavily skewed towards research output because of the dependence of most universities on external research funding . Interestingly, universities and community colleges which have teaching as their primary goal are striving for more research output because they too want to attract external research funding .
Whether or not there is a widespread and strong synergy between research and education, the consensus among many stakeholders is that there should be [8-9]. The potential benefits to the various parties involved cannot be overemphasized . Students can benefit by the satisfaction they derive from knowing that what they are learning in class is at the frontiers of knowledge. Faculty gain satisfaction from integrating their teaching and research functions. Universities, on the other hand, benefit when funding agencies and potential students see them as fulfilling their dual missions of research and teaching. This could translate into more funding from the former and more enrollment and retention of the latter.
Although there appears to be little correlation between research productivity and teaching effec- tiveness at the individual faculty level in current practice, Prince et al.  argue that there is the potential for a positive impact of research on teaching. The authors suggest that one possible way to strengthen the connection between research and teaching is to encourage the use of inductive teaching methods. The idea is to teach in a manner that emulates the research process. An open
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