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Students’ Responses to Flipping Applied Fluids from Instructor-centered to Student-centered Using Problem-based Learning Paradigm

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Maher Shehadi Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Shehadi is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Purdue University. His academic experiences have focused on learning and discovery in areas related to HVAC, indoor air quality, human thermal comfort, and energy conservation. While working with industry, he oversaw maintenance and management programs for various facilities including industrial plants, high rise residential and commercial buildings, energy audits and condition surveys for various mechanical and electrical and systems. He has conducted several projects to reduce emission impacts of buildings by evaluating and improving the energy practices through the integration of sustainable systems with existing systems. His current research focuses on engaging and educating students in sustainable and green buildings' design and energy conservation. He is currently investigating various ways to reduce energy consumption in office buildings.

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Fluid Mechanics is a major course in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs. The course has been traditionally taught in a conventional way in the School of Engineering Technology at (university name removed). However, due to raising market demands the employers are seeking more than knowledge gained in a traditional class and are rather looking into higher logical thinking level, team work skills and leadership, complex problem solving and communication capabilities. This necessitate using more student-centered approaches rather than instructor-based focused learning approaches where students are more engaged in the learning environment in class.

This paper presents a set of activities used in Applied Fluid Mechanics course to partially flip it from being an instructor-centered to a student-centered course using problem based learning (PBL) paradigm. The course was divided into three major modules covering the required course learning outcomes as set by the department and ABET guidelines for the college. The paper describes the implementation and outcomes of applying multiple active learning exercises or activities. Each activity covered certain course learning outcomes while engaging the students in a team oriented and active learning environment. The effectiveness of the applied approaches and students’ outcomes were evaluated using instructor observations, students’ scores for submitted reports and test scores, as well. The paper also summarized surveys given to students asking for their feedback following each activity. The outcomes of the applied activities can help in meeting ABET learning outcomes such as team work, applying engineering knowledge, critical and logical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. The average GPA was approximately 5% higher when applying these activities to the course and comparing them to scores obtained when teaching the course with no added activities.

Shehadi, M. (2019, June), Students’ Responses to Flipping Applied Fluids from Instructor-centered to Student-centered Using Problem-based Learning Paradigm Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33317

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