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Concept Group Exercises for Continuous Improvement of Students Learning Abilities

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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

Grasping the "Concept"

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.322.1 - 23.322.10

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Paper Authors


Rajesh V Shende South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Professor Dr. Rajesh V. Shende received his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai under the supervision of Professor Dr. V.V. Mahajani. After working for few years in dyes manufacturing industry, he returned to academia where he initially received post-doctoral experience at the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia and the University of Missouri, USA before accepting the assistant professor position in Chemical and Biological Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
He has about 80 technical publications and 9 US and European Patents/Patent Applications and many conference proceeding articles. He is reviewer to several scientific and engineering journals. His current research interests include renewable/sustainable energy, alternative fuels, nanostructured materials, MEMS and sensors. Previously he worked in the research areas including nanoenergetic materials, catalysis, ceramic processing, high-voltage capacitors, thin-films processing, reaction engineering and waste remediation processes. He teaches fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, reactor design and renewable and sustainable energy courses to undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Shende is a member of the AIChE, ASEE, MRS and South Dakota Academy of Science.

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Concept Group Tests for Continuous Improvement of Students Learning AbilitiesContinuous learning improvement is highly desired to develop thorough understanding of thesubject matter, which can be achieved by practicing active/co-operative learning strategies. Forthe Fluid Mechanics class, in addition to practicing active learning, concept-based group testswere developed and routinely conducted in a class after every three-four lecturing to examinestudents’ understanding in the subject matter. For instance, after lecturing on momentum balanceand Navier-stokes equations, student groups were asked in a class, “Water is accelerated by anozzle to an average speed of 20 m/s and struck a stationary vertical plate at a rate of 10 kg/swith a normal velocity of 20 m/s. After it strikes, the water stream splatters off in all directions inthe plane of the plate. If we have to set-up a simple momentum balance equations, which forceswill you take into account? Will you be able to apply Navier-Stokes equation to this systemassuming only Vx and Vz components are non-zero? If yes, please provide the simplified form ofNavier-Stokes equation. Would you recommend not considering the vertical forces andmomentum fluxes over the horizontal reaction force? Can we consider the flow of water at nozzleoutlet as steady and pressure forces as negligible?” The answers obtained from the groups werediscussed in the class and those groups with incorrect answers were helped by the instructor andother student groups. The successful outcome of this effort was that the entire class was tunedreasonably to the same level of understanding of the subject matter.This study was conducted with two objectives: 1) examine effectiveness of individual learningversus collaborative learning and 2) investigate effectiveness of concept group tests on studentslearning abilities. The student population was a mix of 11 sophomores, 20 juniors and 6 seniors.The parameter, and independent and dependent variables used were method of instruction,concept group test and posttest score, respectively. The pretest and posttest were developed bythe author based on Blooms taxonomy. The posttest score obtained after administrating theconcept group tests showed overall improvement in class average score by about 30%. Effortsmade on developing concept tests for Fluid Mechanics, administration techniques, assessmentand effect on continuous learning improvement will be discussed.

Shende, R. V. (2013, June), Concept Group Exercises for Continuous Improvement of Students Learning Abilities Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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