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Ceal: Cooperative Learning Coupled With Hands On Experimentation In A Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.264.1 - 6.264.14

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Paper Authors

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Steven Wright

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Murat Ulasir

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Michelle West

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Lissa MacVean

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Donald D. Carpenter

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1277

CEAL: Cooperative Learning Coupled With Hands On Experimentation in a Junior Level Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

Murat Ulasir, Donald D. Carpenter, Michelle L. West, Lissa J. MacVean, Steven J. Wright University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Recent curriculum changes in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan added a three-hour laboratory section to the existing junior level civil engineering Fluid Mechanics course. One important goal in adding this laboratory section to the course was to maximize student learning of the concepts introduced in the course lecture. To facilitate this goal, the laboratory section was divided up into hands on experimentation and demonstration sessions. Furthermore, the documented success of cooperative learning inspired us to include principles of cooperative learning into the laboratory structure as well. As a result, CEAL was created. CEAL stands for Cooperative and Experimental Learning Initiative. Additionally, a course web page with video, pictures, and software applications was developed to supplement student learning. This paper introduces the fundamental concepts behind CEAL and outlines practical examples on how it was implemented into the laboratory structure of the aforementioned course. Finally, results of student surveys gathered through an implemented feedback system are presented along with lessons learned. The overall positive feedback about the class indicates that students learn better in cooperatively structured group settings in which lecture material is presented in a visual manner coupled with hands on experimentation. Also, group processing in which student group members discuss how well they are achieving their goal of effective working relations seems to play an important role in establishing and maintaining cooperative learning groups.

I. Introduction

An increasing number of people in our society are turning to educational institutions to increase their level of knowledge and thus become more competitive in a technologically advanced working environment. Educational institutions are viewed not only as cradles of knowledge but also as places which foster one’s ability to personally become successful and to contribute to the overall welfare of society. Along these lines, we determined that our goal as educators should be both to maximize student learning and to give our students the necessary skills to succeed. Thus, in designing a junior level engineering Fluid Mechanics course in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Michigan we took these goals as our guide.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Wright, S., & Ulasir, M., & West, M., & MacVean, L., & Carpenter, D. D. (2001, June), Ceal: Cooperative Learning Coupled With Hands On Experimentation In A Fluid Mechanics Laboratory Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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