(291b) By Students for Students: Using Course Projects to Create Learning Materials for Future Classes

Authors: 
Landherr, L. J., Northeastern University
In order to improve student understanding of course concepts, as well as to increase the range of learning material available for students, a course contribution project was introduced in a Transport II course. This project required students to find potentially fun and effective means to communicate topics related to heat and mass transfer, with the project deliverables providing new learning tools that could be used to help other students learn.

Students were given four potential project types to select from: writing sample exam problems, for which both problem statements and solutions were required; producing a 5-minute video; writing and drawing a 10-page comic; or developing an experimental module that could be replicated by other students. All of the projects were required to focus on concepts related to heat and/or mass transfer that were addressed in the course, including conduction, convection, fins, heat exchangers, and separations equipment. The intended audience for each project output was the students’ classmates, essentially meaning any Transport II student.

With the permission of the students who completed the project, the deliverables were shared with students who took Transport II in the following semester, thus providing new problems and explanations to learn from. In addition, students who completed the project claimed to gain more in-depth understanding of the course topics related to their projects.

Assessment of the projects over several semesters, as both a deliverable by students and a learning tool for students, will be further discussed.

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