Asee peer logo

Tiered Scaffolding of Problem-Based Learning Techniques in a Thermodynamics Course

Download Paper |

Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

SPECIAL SESSION: Educational Methods and Tools to Encourage Conceptual Learning I

Tagged Divisions

Chemical Engineering and Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

22.1525.1 - 22.1525.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18365

Download Count

37

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Nancy K. Lape Harvey Mudd College

visit author page

Assistant Professor Nancy K. Lape joined the Engineering Department at Harvey Mudd College in 2005 and serves as the Director of the Patton and Claire Lewis Fellowship in Engineering Professional Practice. Her research focuses on energy-efficient composite gas separation membranes, chemical transport across human skin, and engineering education. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and completed her postdoctoral studies at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Genie Chimique (CNRS), ENSIC-INPL in Nancy, France.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Tiered Scaffolding of Problem-Based Learning Techniques in a Thermodynamics CourseProblem-Based Learning (PBL) holds the promise of training students to tackle ill-defined, ill-structured problems and enhance transference of student knowledge fromtypical classroom activities to real-world design and analysis. However, some educationalresearchers (e.g. Sweller et al.) contend that minimal guidance techniques such as PBLfail to account for “human cognitive architecture” and produce exceedingly highcognitive loads, resulting in less learning than guided instruction. This paper addressesthe gap between high-level, high cognitive load PBL techniques by presenting a tieredscaffolding approach ranging from highly guided to entirely un-formed (student-formed)problems in a Thermodynamics course. This approach includes short, structured in-classproblems, a version of Challenge-Based Instruction (CBI) carried out as ill-structuredproblems in class, and student-developed Thermodynamic Inquiry Projects carried outoutside of class time. In addition to details of the approach, data on pre/post testassessments and student surveys will be presented.

Lape, N. K. (2011, June), Tiered Scaffolding of Problem-Based Learning Techniques in a Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18365

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015