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Treatment Plant Instructional Modules In Environmental Engineering

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.592.1 - 3.592.7

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Paper Authors

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Joseph R.V. Flora

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A. Steve McAnally

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

Session 3251

Treatment Plant Instructional Modules in Environmental Engineering Joseph R.V. Flora and A. Steve McAnally University of South Carolina


The Environmental Engineering Curriculum Innovation and Development (CID) group within the National Science Foundation (NSF) Gateway Coalition systematically developed and evaluated instructional modules in various fields of environmental engineering. This paper describes the activities conducted by professors at the University of South Carolina (USC) as part of the group. Six treatment plant instructional modules based on SuperPro Designer£ were developed at USC: one software instructional module and five instructional modules based on individual and multiple combinations of unit operations. These modules underwent two rounds of beta testing at USC and were sent to professors at The Cooper Union (CU), Polytechnic University (PU), and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) for evaluation. In turn, USC professors evaluated modules developed at CU and PU. The development of evaluation procedures for the instructional modules was performed in conjunction with a professional external evaluator. The evaluation had two basic components: an instructor review and an evaluation by the students. The instructor review involved a technical review of module documentation as well as an evaluation of the effectiveness and practicality of implementing the module. The students evaluated the quality and usefulness of the software application and the instructor’s approach in implementing the instructional modules. The modules were revised based on the beta test results.


In the summer of 1995, educators from seven institutions within the NSF Gateway Coalition formed the Environmental Engineering CID and initiated the development of a series of prototype case study, database, and environmental software modules to support environmental engineering education. These modules were packaged as educational resources that can easily be distributed and incorporated into the environmental curricula of institutions within and beyond the Coalition. During the 1995-1996 academic year (year 4 of the NSF Gateway Coalition project), shared resources modules were produced in four focus areas: solid and hazardous waste, water/wastewater treatment and environmental chemistry, air pollution, and environmental hydraulics and water resources. Beta tests of these modules were systematically conducted during the 1996-1997 academic year (year 5 of the project) where modules were exchanged between universities based on expertise demonstrated during the module development activities at each beta test site.

Professors at USC focused on developing and testing instructional modules based on SuperPro Designer£. SuperPro Designer£ is a commercial software package that can be used to design water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control, and industrial unit operations1. Different

Flora, J. R., & McAnally, A. S. (1998, June), Treatment Plant Instructional Modules In Environmental Engineering Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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