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Group Projects Based Final Exams

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.281.1 - 4.281.10

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Pedro Arce

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

Session 2213


Pedro Arce Chemical Engineering and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute GFDI, Florida State University

I. Introduction and Motivation

This contribution describes the efforts made during the last few years at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering during the teaching of ECH 3264, Transport Phenomena I (Fluid Mechanics) to integrate efficiently the fundamental aspects, practical applications, and laboratory experiments. Among the key factors behind these efforts, one can include, for example, the lack of time to teach everything required in classroom work, the very limited exposure of the students to "real devices" in previous courses, and the need of creating learning environments where students "can make" the connection between fundamental concepts and practical applications.

One important learning tool used in the efforts mentioned above is the group-projects that are, in fact, the final exam of the course. The material selected for these projects is closely related to some of the applications that the student will end up facing at the experiments (in the lab sessions) or in actual practical applications during her/his professional life. The projects start at the very early stages of the course and they are the finishing efforts of the students in the final two-hour closed book exam.

In the sections below, several characteristics of the project-based final exam model will be described and, also, general aspects related to the course will be covered to show an overview of the student effort. Preliminary feedback from the students, the lab instructor, and ABET evaluators seem to indicate that these effort could play an important role in the overall integration of teaching fluid mechanics (to engineering undergraduate students) in a very efficient, relevant, and successful strategy.


ECH 3264 meets twice a week during two sessions of one hour and fifteen minutes duration for general discussion of material related, mainly to fundamental aspects of fluid mechanics. The course also features an additional class that usually is focused on problem solving techniques and/or general quest ion-and-answer activities among the students or between the students and the instructor.

The course is at the interface between the basic background (mathematics, physics, computation, and some chemistry) and core courses in chemical engineering such as

Arce, P. (1999, June), Group Projects Based Final Exams Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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