Asee peer logo

Can structured reflection enhance learning in a heat and mass transfer course?

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Novel Pedagogical Techniques II: Potpourri

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Heather Chenette Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

visit author page

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.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper presents a quantitative and qualitative study of written reflective exercises and normalized gain scores from a concept inventory assessment in a junior-level heat and mass transfer course for chemical engineers. The primary purpose of this research is to determine to what extent written reflection activities are successful at adjusting commonly-held misconceptions students have about heat transfer. As described in a previous ASEE paper (Chenette and Ribera, 2016), the authors conducted a series of prediction activities in several course sections, each with approximately 25 junior-level chemical engineering students, with either a structured follow-up reflection assignment or no structured reflection assignment after each prediction activity. The Heat and Energy Concept Inventory (HECI) was administered to students of all sections at the start and the end of the course. The overall HECI score along with HECI subcategory (Temperature vs Energy, Temperature vs Feeling, Rate vs Amount, Radiation) scores were used to evaluate learning gains. Archived data from classes with no prediction activities and no reflection activities served as a control group. To explore if the quality of reflection is related to learning gains, student reflections were ranked according to a validated rubric and compared with quantitative data on learning gains. Qualitative contributions include student responses from focus groups and student surveys. Key highlights will be discussed to provide a better understanding how the students’ perception of learning is affected by these activities. Preliminary results showed a weak correlation between the normalized gain score of individual students in the Rate vs Amount subcategory and the quality of reflection displayed by each student in the follow-up reflection activity. This paper analysis of another HECI subcategory relevant to the in-class prediction activity on radiation. This analysis also includes an additional cohort of students in an effort to increase the sample size to address limitations of the preliminary results. The goal of this study is to better direct the role of prediction and reflection activities in fundamental engineering courses.

Chenette, H. (2017, June), Can structured reflection enhance learning in a heat and mass transfer course? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28004

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015