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Using A Self Paced Course To Introduce Students To Life Long Learning Skills And Ethical Choices

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1238.1 - 8.1238.5

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Paper Authors

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David Doner

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

Session 2793

Using a Self-Paced Course to Introduce Students to Life-Long Learning Skills and Ethical Choices

David M. Doner

Chemical Engineering Department West Virginia Institute of Technology Montgomery, WV 25136


The past sixteen years a second semester, junior level course has been taught using a self-paced format. The basic philosophy for using a self-paced approach is that after graduation individuals are solely responsible for remaining current and competent in their field. This continuing education for the most part will be informal in nature. The self-paced approach is an effort to aid the student in making the transition from the traditional college learning style to a life-long learning style. This course also provides the students experience in setting personal goals, developing the self-discipline necessary to achieve these goals, and dealing with any setbacks. This information is conveyed to the students in a handout given the first day of classes. This handout is shown in Attachment 1.

Course History

Initially paper exams were given whenever a student felt ready to take an exam. Later as enrollments rose it was necessary to limit the exams to twice a week, with students signing up for an exam when they were ready. Students were tested for mastery of the subject material with mastery being defined as receiving 90% on an exam consisting of ten questions. Each exam consisted of a closed book section with seven questions and an open book section with three questions. Final grades were assigned based on the number of chapters mastered and the number of projects completed. The topic order was arranged such that a student earning a passing grade would be able to analyze rate data and design simple reactors with single chemical reaction occurring. To obtain a higher grade a student was required to be able to handle reactions and reactor systems that were more complex. Students were required to demonstrate mastery of one topic or to have tested three times in a topic before they were allowed to proceed to the next topic. This structure resulted in a number of different chapters being tested simultaneously. In addition, an effort was made to provide a new exam for each testing period.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Doner, D. (2003, June), Using A Self Paced Course To Introduce Students To Life Long Learning Skills And Ethical Choices Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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