(433d) Interactive Problem-Based Learning for Enhanced Interdisciplinarity and Retention

Liauw, M. A., ITMC, RWTH Aachen
Treu, D., Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry

Two strategies are presented for an enhanced education in chemical engineering:

1) Multi-layered chemical engineering / chemistry problems are presented via appropriate media like games or internet portals. Individual students or student teams have to solve trouble-shooting tasks in a virtual chemical factory. Clues required for success come from a wide variety of areas, from reaction engineering over chemistry to materials sciences. The interactivity is said to enhance the longevity of the acquired skills, and hence knowledge retention. The preparation of problems is as educational for the students as is the attempt to solve them.

2) With the support of an actual chemical company, a well-defined task has to be solved by a "Virtual Team", 5-10 real students at various universities with different specializations. Work on the problem is carried out via electronic communication, the final period is hosted by the industry partner at their site. A joint presentation of the results is given by the students before the company's experts.

Examples and experiences are given from the European project IMPULSE and others.