A NEW APPROACH FOR THERMAL ENGINEERING LAB PRACTICES FOLLOWING THE “BOLOGNA SPIRIT”
Thermal engineering is one of the fundamental disciplines that must be covered in the new chemical engineering degree which is being taught at Complutense University since 2009. In all of them, the syllabus must be approached by means of traditional lessons, but also combined with “active learning” and laboratory practices. In fact, these laboratory practices can be a really useful tool to enhance certain competences that will be helpful to the grade students in their future professional career. In this work we propose a novel methodology to be applied in thermal engineering lab practices.
The key points of this methodology are:
• Each lab practice is developed in two sessions:
• At the beginning of the first session of each practice, all the student must complete a brief four-option test with questions exclusively related to the practice they are going to work with, with the aim of assuring that they will be able to complete the experimental adequately.
• Afterwards, during the first session, the students will develop the experimental part in the laboratory, in four-people groups. At the end of the day, it is compulsory for each group to give the responsible teacher an example of a detailed calculation, from the experimental point to the final result.
• At the beginning of the second session, the responsible teacher will give a feedback to students-group.
• During the second session, the students will complete the calculations in a computer room.
• At the end of the computer session, each student group will send via campus-virtual, a pdf file with the abstract and the conclusions of the final report, along with an excel file with the detailed calculations.
• After the second session, each group will receive from the responsible teacher a feedback via campus virtual.
• With this feedback, each group will elaborate a final report which will be sent via campus virtual to the responsible teacher. The structure of the report will follow scientific publication-guidelines, which will be further detailed in the final paper.