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Comparing a Modified Problem-Based Learning Approach To a Traditional Approach to Teaching Heat Transfer

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

"How Do We Compare?" - Students, Case Studies, and Learning Approaches

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.309.1 - 23.309.10

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Paper Authors


Christi P Patton Luks University of Tulsa

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Dr. Christi Patton Luks is an applied associate professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Tulsa. Her degrees include a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M, a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from TU, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from TU. She is involved with AIChE and ASEE locally and nationally.

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Comparing a Modified Problem-Based Learning Approach To a Traditional Approach to Teaching Heat Transfer Experience has convinced me that traditional lectures are easy for the professor, but are notalways the best educational approach for the majority of my students. Over the years I have triedto incorporate more active approaches in the classroom. I incorporated many active learningactivities and added technology-driven modifications to my courses. More recently I triedadding problem-based learning (PBL) to my classes. I found that light use of a modified form ofPBL along with a variety of active learning elements have improved the level of studentinvolvement, classroom morale, and, ultimately, the learning that occurred in my classes.In Fall 2012, I had the opportunity to teach two sections of a junior-level heat transfer courseusing different pedagogies: (1) the traditional, lecture-based approach with some active-learningand (2) a modified PBL approach. My modified course alternates mini-lectures and studentproblems in a "leap frog" style. This class meets for 3 hours, once a week. Lectures are verybrief and dispersed throughout the class meeting time. Students work problems and conductbrief experiments in class. Their results are shared and unusual results are discussed. Lecturetime helps summarize these result and propel the class to the next topic. Homework reflects thematerial covered that day, but extends to the topics for the next class. The students come to classbetter-prepared than the typical classroom.In this paper I will discuss my modifications and present data to demonstrate the effectiveness ofthis approach.

Patton Luks, C. P. (2013, June), Comparing a Modified Problem-Based Learning Approach To a Traditional Approach to Teaching Heat Transfer Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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