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Collaborative Research: Integration of Conceptual Learning throughout the Core Chemical Engineering Curriculum – Year 4

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.361.1 - 26.361.8



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Paper Authors


Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Chemical Engineering. He currently has research activity in areas related engineering education and is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher-level cognitive skills in engineering problem solving. His research interests particularly focus on what prevents students from being able to integrate and extend the knowledge developed in specific courses in the core curriculum to the more complex, authentic problems and projects they face as professionals. Dr. Koretsky is one of the founding members of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU.

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John L. Falconer University of Colorado, Boulder

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Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

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David L. Silverstein P.E. University of Kentucky

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David L. Silverstein is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He is also the Director of the College of Engineering's Extended Campus Programs in Paducah, Kentucky, where he has taught for 15 years. His PhD and MS studies in ChE were completed at Vanderbilt University, and his BSChE at the University of Alabama. Silverstein's research interests include conceptual learning tools and training, and he has particular interests in faculty development. He is the recipient of several ASEE awards, including the Fahein award for young faculty teaching and educational scholarship, the Corcoran award for best article in the journal Chemical Engineering Education (twice), and the Martin award for best paper in the ChE Division at the ASEE Annual Meeting.

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Bill Jay Brooks Oregon State University

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Debra May Friedrichsen


Christina Smith Oregon State University

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Christina Smith is a graduate student in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Utah in chemical engineering and is pursuing her Ph.D. also in chemical engineering with an emphasis on engineering education. Her research interests include undergraduate and graduate student personal epistemology as well as diffusion of innovations.

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Collaborative Research: Integration of Conceptual Learning throughout the Core Chemical Engineering Curriculum – Year 4We report on the activity of the fourth year of this CCLI Phase 2 project. The goal is to create acommunity of learning within the discipline of chemical engineering (ChE) focused on concept-based instruction. We have been developing and promoting the use of a cyber-enabledinfrastructure for conceptual questions, the AIChE Concept Warehouse, which can usedthroughout the core ChE curriculum (Material and Energy Balances, Thermodynamics,Transport Phenomena, Kinetics and Reactor Design, and Materials Science). Conceptualquestions, both as Concept Inventories and ConcepTests, are available through this interactivewebsite maintained through the Education Division of the American Institute of ChemicalEngineers (AIChE), the discipline’s major professional society. The overall objective is to lowerthe activation barrier for using conceptual instruction and assessment so that many morechemical engineering faculty will incorporate concept-based learning into their classes.This poster will present the current progress of the interactive AIChE Concept Warehouse Theinnovative software application allows for interactive electronic use, as well as the generation ofPowerPoint and Word formats, so that conceptual learning and evaluation can be incorporatedinto instruction in various forms including the following options: in-class ConcepTests withstudent response (clickers, laptops, cell phones), concept inventories to evaluate student learning(or student preparation for a course), exams and homework problems. A key element to thisapproach is to provide a context for conceptual learning that reflects the richly interconnectedand interrelated knowledge structures of experts. The pedagogy includes cross development andtesting between items on a Concept Inventory and in ConcepTests.Usage results of the AIChE Concept Warehouse by the early adopters will be presented. Thesoftware was released for widespread use in the summer of 2012. In two years, over 300 facultyfrom over 150 institutions have obtained accounts. We also report on other collaborative NSFprojects are using elements of this tool. Analysis that tracks the diffusion process of thisinnovation will also be presented.

Koretsky, M., & Falconer, J. L., & Silverstein, D. L., & Brooks, B. J., & Friedrichsen, D. M., & Smith, C. (2015, June), Collaborative Research: Integration of Conceptual Learning throughout the Core Chemical Engineering Curriculum – Year 4 Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23700

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