(550a) Strategies for Implementation of Desktop Learning Modules

Authors: 
Wilson, S. - Presenter, University of Kentucky
Escobar, I., University of Kentucky
Van Wie, B. J., Washington State University
Englert, D. L., University of Kentucky
Maddox, J. F., University of Kentucky
Beheshti Pour, N., University of California Berkeley
Hands-on demonstrations are being developed to complement lecture-based courses and clarify common misconceptions in the chemical engineering curriculum, such as friction losses leading to decreases in downstream fluid velocity. An example of these hands-on demonstrations is the desktop learning modules (DLMs) developed by Bernard Van Wie and collaborators at Washington State University [1-5]. While data has shown that integration of these modules into the curriculum improves student learning outcomes, wide-spread adoption can be difficult to achieve. In this study, both fluid mechanics and heat transfer DLMs were implemented across four courses at the University of Kentucky (Lexington and Paducah campuses) to class sizes ranging from 4 to 50 students. To successfully implement these DLMs, strategies were developed on a class-by-class basis to overcome barriers such as large class size, lack of classroom resources and inflexibility in the scheduled curriculum. Strategies include in-class integration for smaller class sizes of 4-30 students vs. out-of-classroom assignments for larger classes (50 students) utilizing a shared departmental laboratory space. Across all courses, pre- and post-tests were used to evaluate the effect of module use on student learning outcomes. Additionally, some courses integrated in-class controls, allowing for comparison of learning outcomes across the spectrum when learning modules or traditional lectures were used to relay information. When compared to a fully-controlled experiment at WSU, similar learning outcomes were achieved for the personalized-implementation plans. For instance, post-test scores were increased by on average 30% and 20% for velocity in a pipe and velocity in a venturi meter, respectively. This compares to increases of approximately 30% and 15% for the WSU study. By developing course specific implementation strategies, hands-on learning modules can be adapted across a wide-range of classroom conditions allowing for wide-scale implementation.

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