- 1:33 PM

Preliminary Testing of a .Net Based Educational Heat Transfer Simulator

Peyton C. Richmond and Sidney Lin. Chemical Engineering Department, Lamar University, 4400 MLK Blvd, Beaumont, TX 77710

This study incorporates a .NET based heat transfer simulation into an active learning exercise. The simulation is sufficiently complex and flexible enough to support limited student inquiry but only a limited number of concepts are included to avoid confusion. A one-dimensional heat transfer simulation of a semi-infinite plate with temperature specified at both boundaries is used to improve students' understanding of conduction heat transfer concepts. An easy to use interface and graphical display is developed using the Microsoft .NET base class library.

In the first semester the simulator was only loosely incorporated into the course. Ordinary classroom instruction was followed by a survey on heat transfer concepts. Then, the students were instructed to answer various assigned conceptual heat transfer questions by using the simulation. This was followed by a second survey to determine the impact of this self-study activity on their understanding. In the second semester the self-study activity was replaced by an in-class active learning activity using the simulation. The students were again surveyed before and after the simulation activity to determine its impact on their conduction heat transfer understanding.