Development, Implementation, and Analysis of Desktop-scale Model Industrial Equipement and a Critical Thinking Rubric for use in Chemical Engineering Education
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In order to address some of the challenges facing engineering education, namely the demand that students be better prepared to practice professional as well as technical skills, we have developed an intervention consisting of equipment, assessments and a novel pedagogy. The equipment consists of desktop-scale replicas of common industrial equipment. These are implemented in the form of modular cartridges that can be interchanged in a base unit containing water, power and instrumentation. These Desktop Learning Modules (DLMs) are effective at providing a hands on experience in most classroom environments without requiring either water or power hook-ups. Furthermore, the DLMs respond quickly enough that multiple experiments by multiple groups can be run in a single one hour class.We refined an existing critical thinking rubric to be more specific to the realm of engineering problem solving. By altering our pedagogy to a project based environment using the critical thinking rubric as a primary grading tool, we are able to observe and measure the critical thinking skills of student groups. This rubric is corroborated with an industrial perspective and measures constructs that are important to the students' future careers.