(676a) Just-In-Time Teaching in a Material and Energy Balances Course

Liberatore, M. W., Colorado School of Mines

An attrition rate of 25 to 35% for the material and energy balances course is believed to be “average” based on previous years at the Colorado School of Mines, conversations with other faculty who teach the same course, and published conjecture by Felder. The motivation for this work derives from insufficient student learning related to a lack of practice (with problem solving).  Recently, many, likely a majority of, students copied the solutions manual leading to a false sense of understanding the material and problem solving required in the Material and Energy Balances course.  One student even printed off the solutions manual and turned it in UNCHANGED, except for putting their name on it.  While the fundamentals of engineering disciplines are the same as in previous years and decades, the students think differently.  Technology has dictated how these “digitally native” students think and pedagogical techniques need to change to challenge these students in new ways.  Just-in-time teaching feedback from online homework from Sapling Learning and instructor-written online quizzes immediately identify conceptual understanding and problem solving skills of the class. The positive results with a recent online homework experiment (published in Chemical Engineering Education in 2011) showed a clear need for more faculty using online homework technology.  Recent results (to be published in Chemical Engineering Education in 2013) will be the focus in this talk.