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Enhancing Student Success In An Introductory Chemical Engineering Course: Impact Of The Cooperative Learning Strategy

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.196.1 - 1.196.7



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Paper Authors

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Lueny Morell de Ramírez

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Carlos Velazquez

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

Session 1675

Enhancing Student Success in an Introductory Chemical Engineering Course: Impact of the Cooperative Learning Strategy

Lueny Morell de Ramirez, Carlos Velazquez University of Puerto Rico at Mayagiiez

Abstract Then, novel teaching techniques that enhance student learning were applied to these courses. This paper describes the cooperative One of the techniques used was cooperative learning activities used y the authors in an learning. introductory chemical engineering course, Mass and Energy Balances, at the Chemical The authors tried the cooperative Engineering (ChE) Department of the learning strategy in the Mass and Energy University of Puerto Rico at Mayagiiez Balances course at the Chemical Engineering (UPRM). This teaching/learning strategy was Department of the University of Puerto Rico at part of a multi-institutional NSF-funded project Mayaguez. As in many ChE departments, this is that aims at increasing the graduation rate of the first course in the program. At UPRM, students in science, engineering and engineering is a five-year program and, this mathematics majors on the island (the Alliance course is taken by students in their fifth for Minority Participation Project). The in-class semester of study, parallel to differential and out-of-class strategies utilized and their equations and physical chemistry. The course impact on student success on course outcomes has been known for its high attrition rate are described. (traditionally, an average of 50-60?/o of students either withdraw or fail the course). Therefore, Brief History the course is considered a bottleneck course. On the average, three sections of the course are During the academic year of 1992-93, offered each semester (about 30 students per the authors participated in a pilot teaching section), with each section taught by a different experiment as part of a multi-institutional NSF- professor. Coordination of the course [e.g., funded project aimed at increasing the number course materials, assessment tools (exams, of minority students graduating from science, quizzes, homework)] is carried out by the team engineering and mathematics (SEM) programs. of faculty members teaching the course. That is, This project is entitled The Alliance for the course is considered “departmental” Minority Participation (AMP). One of the meaning that all faculty members teaching it strategies considered to reduce the attrition rate must follow agreements (same test, same hour). of minority students in these programs was the To ensure fairness in grading the tests, problems identification of courses with significant student in each test are graded by the faculty member failures, so-called gatekeepers (freshman who wrote the problem. courses), and bottlenecks (upper level courses).

de Ramírez, L. M., & Velazquez, C. (1996, June), Enhancing Student Success In An Introductory Chemical Engineering Course: Impact Of The Cooperative Learning Strategy Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6033

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