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ERIC Number: ED511218
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1548-6613
Building an Understanding of Heat Transfer Concepts in Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Courses
Nottis, Katharyn E. K.; Prince, Michael J.; Vigeant, Margot A.
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v7 n2 p1-9 Feb 2010
Understanding the distinctions among heat, energy and temperature can be difficult for students at all levels of instruction, including those in engineering. Misconceptions about heat transfer have been found to persist, even after students successfully complete relevant coursework. New instructional methods are needed to address these misconceptions. This pilot study examined whether researcher-developed and inquiry-based activities could increase conceptual understanding of heat transfer and alter common misconceptions. Twenty-two undergraduate chemical engineering students were assessed before and after instruction with inquiry-based activities using a ten-item concept inventory. Concept inventory questions were developed to assess students' performance on questions closely related to the inquiry-based activities and questions applying concepts in new contexts. Participants significantly improved their overall scores from pre-test to post-test. An examination of performance on individual items revealed significant improvement on half of those questions closely related to the instructional activities and half of those applying concepts in new but related contexts. Results are examined in light of the assessment and inquiry activities that were used, as well as the difficulty of the concepts. Educational implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. Descriptions of inquiry-based learning activities are appended. (Contains 3 tables.)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A