June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1144.1 - 14.1144.30
TEACHING MATERIAL AND ENERGY BALANCES TO FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS USING COOPERATIVE TEAM- BASED PROJECTS AND LABORATORIES
A team-based cooperative learning environment for teaching Principles of Chemical Engineering (the material and energy balances course) has been used at Bucknell University for several years. This course has been carefully designed to include a variety of "best practices" to help prepare chemical engineering students in their first course in the curriculum. The course involves five two-week projects where students work in teams to complete problems covering a range of materials and, at the same time, practice teamwork and professional skills. Additionally, each project involves a complex laboratory experiment and use of process simulation software (HYSYS) problems. This work is carefully guided by the course instructors in a way to promote independent learning while assessing the desired outcomes. Assessment for this course has been ongoing and involves a range of data from team self-reports, before and after project concept inventories, individual surveys, team surveys, and final course evaluations. This paper will explain the details of the course setup, the unique application and evaluation of various "best practices" used in the course, and assessment/evaluation of the benefits of the cooperative learning environment.
Principles of Chemical Engineering (CHEG 200) is the introductory course in the chemical engineering curriculum at Bucknell University. At other universities this course is sometimes referred to as the “stoichiometry” or the “material and energy balance” class. The purpose of the class is to introduce students to the major concepts and ideas related to chemical engineering. This allows students to 1) confirm their choice of major discipline (do they really want to be chemical engineers or is this discipline what they were expecting?) and 2) form the basis of ideas and concepts needed to be successful as chemical engineers. Traditionally and historically, this course at most institutions would be a lecture-based course covering material and energy balances. It would not include a laboratory but rather would rely solely on students performing homework problems from the textbook while working individually or in small, independently- formed groups.
Research into how students learn has shown that people are more likely to abstract the relevant features of concepts and to develop a flexible representation of knowledge when a subject is taught in multiple contexts, including examples that demonstrate wide application of what is being taught.1 Educational researchers also widely acknowledge that learning by doing is more effective for most people than passively listening to a lecture.2 Finally, there is consistent and strong data from employers of chemical engineers that the primary attributes they are looking for in new hires include problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, and communication skills.3 These data have been a strong motivation to change how the first chemical engineering course is taught.
Hanyak, M., & Raymond, T. (2009, June), Teaching Material And Energy Balances To First Year Students Using Cooperative Team Based Projects And Labs Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5629
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