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Use of Conceptual Questions With Prompt Feedback in Engineering Thermodynamics

[+] Author Affiliations
Randall D. Manteufel

University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. IMECE2015-52276, pp. V005T05A014; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 13–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5742-7
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


An effective strategy to promote deep understanding in engineering thermodynamics is to increase the use of conceptual questions during lectures coupled with prompt assessment of student responses. A key is to collect responses from all students and provide prompt feedback explaining the correct response. It has been found that conceptual questions are more effective than numerical. Good questions explore if a quantity will increase, decrease or remain unchanged in response to a change in the system. In previous semesters, an instructor would pose conceptual questions during lecture and discuss with those students who participated with the instructor. Using an electronic collection system for student responses, all student responses can be collected and assesses. Results show that (1) it is rare that the entire class is correct even for the simplest of questions, (2) a nearly identical question can be repeated in a subsequent lecture and there will continue to be a incorrect responses, and (3) repeating questions throughout the semester is effective at addressing common conceptual misunderstandings and improving long-term student learning in engineering thermodynamics.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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