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Engaged in Thermodynamics: Addressing the Student to Learning Material Interface

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.569.1 - 22.569.8



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Paper Authors


Patrick A. Tebbe Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Patrick A. Tebbe is an Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator for mechanical engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has degrees in both mechanical and nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri - Columbia. He is a member of ASME, ASEE, and currently serves as a Student Branch Advisor for ASHRAE.

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Nicholas Saucedo Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Jeffrey Richard Pribyl Minnesota State University, Mankato


Stewart L. Ross Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Stewart Ross, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Minnesota State University Mankato. He has been a professor at this institution for 34 years and deals with numerous programs that aid teaching and leaning. He is also the senior associate with Dee Fink & Associates, a small company that delivers course design and other workshops across the country and internationally at colleges and universities.

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Engaged in Thermodynamics – Addressing the Student to Learning Material InterfaceThis paper will discuss a new NSF-CCLI grant that addresses improvements in student pedagogyand educational materials for the engineering thermodynamics curriculum by completingdevelopment of the concept of an “Engineering Scenario”. Engineering Scenarios are textbooksupplements based on actual engineering facilities and equipment. They expand on the casestudy concept by including skills-based problems that can be used in place of traditionalhomework problems but written in the context of the real-world environment, as well asadditional design problems based on design methods and actual solutions at real facilities.Accompanying supplementary and background information promotes increased inquiry-based orstudent-centered learning, better addresses student real world expectations, and leads to anincrease in overall student engagement. A Phase 1 grant allowed for the development andrepeated formative assessment of a single scenario, leading to the current Phase 2 grant.The focus of this poster/paper will be the continued work on determining what makes a goodmaterial for students to use; both in terms of engagement and learning potential. This willinclude addressing issues of readability of the new material. This includes an evaluation andcomparison to popular thermodynamic textbooks on the market. Also discussed will be thecontinued work with the software interface to improve usability by students. This focuses on themanner in which students want to see and access the information. Development in both of theseareas is grounded in pedagogical insights obtained from additional focus groups withthermodynamics students discussing engagement issues.

Tebbe, P. A., & Saucedo, N., & Pribyl, J. R., & Ross, S. L. (2011, June), Engaged in Thermodynamics: Addressing the Student to Learning Material Interface Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17850

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