(134e) Conceptests for Process Controls Courses: By Students, for Students

Landherr, L. J., Northeastern University
ConcepTest questions are frequently used in chemical engineering instruction, in part because of their availability through learning repositories like LearnChemE.com and AIChE Concept Warehouse. ConcepTests evaluate the readers’ understanding by integrating the concepts into questions that force the learners to evaluate their own arguments for certain multiple choice answers while selecting one final answer. Thus, the learners’ considered reasoning before selecting an answer allows for evaluation of conceptual understanding. However, while there are extensive questions available for almost all core undergraduate chemical engineering courses, few ConcepTests have been developed for Process Control courses.

As an assignment in a Process Control course at Northeastern University, students were given the opportunity to write ConcepTest questions of their own for use with future iterations of students. Students had to develop multiple choice questions with detailed solutions, and were allowed to develop the ConcepTests with respect to any concepts in the course. More than 40 students over two semesters developed questions that were then used throughout the following semester. This study discusses the range of questions created, the benefit of having students develop their own questions, and their benefit in future semesters.