NSF TUES: Integrating Biofuels Education into Chemical Engineering Curriculum to Prepare Competent Engineers and Researchers for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Solutions
The project is creating educational materials that systematically integrate bio-fuel technology into the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum. As a part of this effort, the investigators are implementing and evaluating web-based teaching strategies in order to improve student engagement and learning. Specifically, they are creating a set of comprehensive, flexible classroom and web-based modules that can be integrated easily into current chemical engineering curricula and adopted by other educators. Each classroom learning module contains: links to commonly used textbooks for easy integration; different levels of learning objectives based on Bloom's Taxonomy; background information including motivation, process introduction, a discussion of related fundamental principles and concepts; example problems and solutions; a summary; links to web module that will promote active learning and student engagement; homework problems at different difficulty levels; and comprehensive, open-ended design problems. Materials and results are being disseminated through posting on a project website and on a website for sharing material among chemical engineering faculty members (the CACHE site); through presentations at AICHE and ASEE meetings; through papers submitted to archived journals; and through a targeted outreach effort to chemical engineering faculty members at other universities. Evaluation efforts include both a review of the material by faculty members, students and industrial practitioners, and the use of student surveys, focus groups, and the SLAG instrument under the direction of an independent evaluator from one of the participating institutions' teaching and learning centers. Broader impacts involve the dissemination of the instructional materials, particularly through the CACHE site and the targeted outreach to faculty members at other sites.