E. Díez1, A. Rodríguez1, J. Garcia1, J.M. Gómez1, S. Álvarez1, I. Díaz2

1Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
2Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
The aim of this paper is to describe the flipped classroom methodology which we have implemented in the subject “Powder Technology”, belonging to the 4th year of the Chemical Engineering Bachelor.

This subject is partially developed in lectures where the main contents of the syllabus are exposed. However, in our group we have decided to combine these traditional sessions with a student-centered flipped classroom methodology, with the aim of encouraging the students´ self-learning. This way, the students will also have an active part in the teaching-learning process, not being just passive receptors as usually happens in classroom environments.

How do we apply this methodology? We do it in two different environments: by solving practical cases and by means of the lab practices.
Concerning the first way, once the theoretical contents are exposed, the students are encouraged to solve by themselves, but with the teacher tuition if necessary, a collection of practical exercises previously established at the beginning of the course. After these practical cases are solved as homework, every student in correlative turns is responsible of explaining an exercise in front of the class while the rest of the auditorium is checking goodness of the exercise following a peer-reviewed system (they randomly exchange their exercises); the maximum qualification that can be given to each exercise is agreed between all the students after solving, according to the specific difficulty level. The marks given by the students are to be used as a part of their final marks. This way, they are responsible of properly explaining to the rest of the class as well as they are also responsible of giving a right mark to somebody else. This methodology allows also working with some transversal skills such as team-working or self-assessment.

Concerning the second way, in the “Powder Technology” subject, the lab practices are an extremely important didactical tool because they allow the students acquiring a general perception of how the unit operations related to powder work. But they also can be employed to make the students acquire some important competences such as equipment design and optimization; this is especially relevant in all the unit operations related to solids as their design is mainly based on empirical criteria. To achieve this goal we employ the solids package of the process simulation software Aspen Plus. Initially the students have at their disposal a brief guide which describes the basis of the package so that they only need a brief seminary to get to the software. Once this has achieved, they are due to solve different practical cases all of them related to the ones the previously have worked with. The use of this kind of software allows the students easily analyzing the influence of several operational variables on the design of specific equipment.