(550b) Enhancing the Design of Low-Cost Desktop Learning Module Kits for Ease of Implementation and Adoption
The development of novel, visual, hands-on learning tools to improve student understanding of complex fluid flow and heat transfer concepts is becoming increasingly popular. However, many of these systems are subject to a number of factors that prevent widespread adoption including cost, complexity, and size. Thus, the developers of hands-on learning tools should focus on producing modules which are flexible in application and require minimum preparation time from professors for easy adoption. We have previously developed numerous Low-Cost Desktop Learning Modules (LC-DLMs) including a hydraulic loss system, venturi meter, double pipe heat exchanger, and shell and tube heat exchanger. Although these were effective for enhancing student learning, they required the professor and teaching assistants to spend up to several hours preparing the module kits prior to classroom implementation. To address this, we have recently redesigned the LC-DLM kits to reduce the amount of pre-class preparation time to less than a half hour. With the simplicity of our new kits, students are able to set-up the modules on their own in less than five minutes, and the compactness of the design increases application flexibility by allowing students to fit the LC-DLMs in their backpacks so that they can be used outside the classroom or at home. This presentation will be focused on describing the successful implementation of our new venturi meter and shell and tube heat exchanger LC-DLMs during a junior-level Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer course. Preliminary data shows that student performance significantly improved between pre- and post-assessments for several questions within the assessment; post assessments were given immediately after and 2-weeks post-implementation for the heat exchanger and venturi LC-DLMs, respectively. Results from a survey addressing student attitudes towards the new module kits will also be presented. We are confident that our optimized module set-up will allow for easier implementation at diverse institutions by minimizing the complexity of the equipment and the time required in preparing for implementation.