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Work in Progress: Using Jupyter Notebooks to Climb Bloom’s Taxonomy in Thermodynamics

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 3: Digital Learning Part I

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Bryan Weber University of Connecticut Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Weber joined the UConn Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty in 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor in Residence and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Mechanical Engineering. He received his B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2009, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Dr. Weber’s research interests are in the development of software for combustion and thermodynamic analysis, as well as improving engineering education by integration of software to the classroom.

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Improving student outcomes using active learning techniques is a well-studied approach that can engage students to reach higher levels of learning. In this paper, I will present experiences from my implementation of active learning in sophomore-level Mechanical Engineering thermodynamics classes. The primary change made to the course was to add problem-based learning activities leveraging Jupyter Notebooks to evaluate thermodynamic properties. Jupyter Notebooks are a web-based programming environment widely used in software and other industries that allows students to combine code with equations and explanations of their work. By using this software to solve open-ended design problems, students move from the Remember, Comprehend, and Apply steps of Bloom’s Taxonomy to the Analyze, Synthesize, and Evaluate stages. Integrating Jupyter Notebooks and design problems to these courses has involved several challenges, including developing a custom interface to CoolProp in Python, using a flipped classroom to shift contact hours to focus on problem solving, students' comfort with programming in Python, as well as ensuring students retain a physical understanding of the subject. I will also discuss some lessons learned in the process and future improvements that I am pursuing for my implementation.

Weber, B. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Using Jupyter Notebooks to Climb Bloom’s Taxonomy in Thermodynamics Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35700

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