431526 Introduction of Collaborative Learning into a Senior Level Transport Phenomena Course

Monday, November 9, 2015: 2:00 PM
Alpine West (Hilton Salt Lake City Center)
Gerold A. Willing, Chemical Engineeering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

In Spring of 2014, a Faculty Learning Community was established at the University of Louisville's J.B. Speed School of Engineering. The focus of this FLC was on implementing Collaborative Learning Techniques (CoLTs) within the engineering classroom with a secondary aim of discovering ways of using new collaborative learning spaces that were being created at the Speed School. In Chemical Engineering, the implementation of these CoLTs occured within a senior level course called Modelling and Transport Phenomena which had only been recently introduced into the curriculum in 2014. Students were divided into teams of 3 for the purpose of solving in class homework problems in small groups.  The problem solving was performed in a structured manner to provide students a framework for developing their assumptions and boundary conditions. Based on student feedback, a majority of the students preferred the collaborative learning classroom over the traditional lecture format. Additionally, their test scores showed a consistent improvement throughout the course. While there are several disadvantages to fully implementing Collaborative Learning in this fashion, the early results suggest that student learning was enhanced by the introduction of these Collaborative Learning Techniques.

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