464047 Active Learning in Chemical Engineering

Monday, November 14, 2016: 10:15 AM
Continental 3 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
John Falconer, J. Will Medlin, Janet deGrazia, Katherine McDanel and Michelle Medlin, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

Freeman et al. [1] analyzed 225 studies that compared STEM courses that used active learning to those that used traditional lecturing. The students’ performance on exams and on the concept inventory increased by 0.47 standard deviation (when active learning was used, whereas students in the traditional lecture courses were 1.5 times more likely to fail. These studies provide convincing evidence that active learning in the classroom leads to improved student performance. During a lecture, students may think they understand a concept, and only realize they don’t when they try to apply it. An important objective of active learning is that essentially all students are engaged, not just a small fraction.

We have attempted to provide the resources to make it easier for new faculty to use active learning while devoting less time to preparing course materials. Complete course packages have been developed for three chemical engineering courses: material and energy balances, thermodynamics, and kinetics/reactor design. These course packages utilize active learning in class with ConcepTests , interactive simulations, and problems that students work on in groups. They also include screencasts for students to watch before class, reading quizzes, exams, and assignments. The course packages are available in Microsoft OneNote so that they can be readily modified by the user. Access to the course packages is available at www.LearnChemE.com. 1. Freeman, S, Eddy, SL, McDonough, M, Smith, MK, Okoroafor, N, Jordt, H, Wenderoth, MP, Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (2014) 111, 8410-8415.

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