Attitudes toward and usage of animations in an interactive textbook for material and energy balances

Published 2021 American Society for Engineering Education


Mr. Sidney Jay Stone III P.E.
University of Toledo

Prof. Matthew W. Liberatore
University of Toledo

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The concept of active learning or “learning by doing” is applied through animations within an interactive textbook. A Material and Energy Balance (MEB) course for undergraduate chemical engineering students has generated large data sets by using an interactive textbook from zyBooks. MEB is a foundational course that includes new terminology, the basic principles of mass and energy conservation, and tools for problem solving. Here, outside of class engagement was measured using student views of multi-step animations that introduce course concepts in small chunks. Students’ usage of the interactive textbook has been logged for several years, and median reading participation was measured as high as 99%. Within the reading participation data are the clicks to start, complete, and re-watch over 100 animations, which has not been explored in detail. The research questions are specifically related to animations. First, do students view all steps in animations and what is the rate of re-watch? Next, do certain animations gather significant re-watch views across five cohorts? Also, what is students’ understanding of and attitude about using animations in their engineering education? We are administering pre- and post-surveys to understand students’ interest in chemical engineering as well as animation use. This paper is a work in progress.

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