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Framing Students' Learning Problems of Thermodynamics

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids, and Heat Transfer I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/p.26955

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26955

Download Count

627

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Paper Authors

biography

Nihad Dukhan University of Detroit Mercy

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Nihad Dukhan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches courses in heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and energy systems. His ongoing research interests include advance cooling technologies for high-power devices, with focus on metal foam as the cooling core, service learning and other engineering education pedagogies. He is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fulbright scholar. His publications record includes over 130 referred papers. Dr. Dukhan earned his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo.

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Abstract

Firm understanding of thermodynamics by graduating engineers is critical for addressing key current and future global issues, e.g. the looming energy crisis, pollution and global warming. Forms of alternative energy, and the efficiency of their conversion processes, are all governed by the laws of thermodynamics. Despite this immense importance, engineering students has been having difficulties in building good knowledge of thermodynamics, and in applying this knowledge in problem solving and thermal design. Through a careful reading of the pertinent literature, this paper explains the difficulties students have and provides classifications of the difficulties in order to better understand them. The difficulties are grouped under major headings in order to give an easy-to-see view of them. A thorough understanding of these difficulties, and their root causes, is vital for any instructional design aimed at mitigating these problems, and for enabling better learning of thermodynamics. The paper also summarizes the techniques that have been tried to solve these problems and the degree of success achieved. Generally speaking, there are two major classes of thermodynamic learning problems. First, students do not properly learn thermodynamic concepts and principles; second, students do not seem to recognize relevant concepts and principles, and combine them in order to solve thermodynamic problems. This paper argues that in order to design an edifying approach to improve students’ learning of thermodynamics, the root causes must be addressed.

Dukhan, N. (2016, June), Framing Students' Learning Problems of Thermodynamics Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26955

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