(293e) Using Science Comics to Improve Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Education
Science comics have been developed by integrating written lectures and instruction with visual depictions to provide new curricula to help students better grasp more abstract and complex topics. Specifically, comics have been implemented in Unit Operations Laboratory, Thermodynamics, Transport, and Process Control courses to help explain concepts of data analysis, fugacity, heat exchangers, and PID controllers. The comics have provided students with â??visual notesâ?? that allow them to revisit the lectures where the concepts were originally taught; instead of relying on the plain text in their notes, the comics depict a lecture or a discussion between professor and students to represent the original instruction and contribute to a greater student understanding.
In the first two semesters of implementing the comics in chemical engineering courses, students have shown moderate improvement on exams and technical papers addressing the specific concepts addressed by the comics. Further, students have indicated significant improvement in their confidence in addressing the topics. Over 20 other universities and institutions have now also implemented the comics in their courses to varying degrees of success. Based on the student interest and response, further comics are being developed with Northeasternâ??s College of Art, Media and Design as Capstone projects as well as in collaboration with other colleges. This presentation will discuss current efforts in the research and further assessment.