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By Students for Students: Using Course Projects to Create Learning Materials for Future Classes

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Course Design, Course Projects, and Student Perceptions in Chemical Engineering

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Lucas James Landherr Northeastern University

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Dr. Lucas Landherr is an associate teaching professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University, conducting research in comics and engineering education.

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In order to improve student understanding of course concepts, as well as to increase the range of learning material available for students, a course contribution project was introduced in a heat and mass transfer course. This project required students to find potentially fun and effective means to communicate topics related to the course subject matter, with the project deliverables providing new learning tools that could be used to help other students learn. Students were given several potential project types to select from: writing sample exam problems, for which both problem statements and solutions were required; producing a 5-minute video; writing and drawing a 10-page comic; or developing an experimental module that could be replicated by other students. Students also developed their own original projects, including computer simulations and board games. All of the projects were required to focus on concepts related to heat and/or mass transfer that were addressed in the course, including conduction, convection, heat exchangers, and separations equipment. The intended audience for each project output was the students’ classmates, essentially meaning any student in the course. With the permission of the students who completed the project, the deliverables were shared with students who took the course in the following semesters, thus providing new learning tools and conceptual explanations to supplement instruction by the professor. After introducing the course project and then subsequently providing the learning material to future classes, students showed improvement on course exams, and students who completed the project claimed to gain more in-depth understanding of the course topics related to their projects. Assessment of the projects over several semesters, as both a deliverable by students and a learning tool for students, will be further discussed in this paper.

Landherr, L. J. (2020, June), By Students for Students: Using Course Projects to Create Learning Materials for Future Classes Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34243

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