SMALL-GROUP TUTORIALS AND OPEN BRAINSTORMING FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING IN ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING SYSTEMS
Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
Environmental Engineering Systems is a core-course for undergraduate students at the University of Guelph pursuing degrees in Environmental or Water Resource Engineering. The class is a thorough introduction to many elementary concepts of Chemical and Biological Engineering, including concepts of conservation and reactor system design, and is delivered through lecture, laboratory and tutorial components. At the University of Guelph, Environmental Engineering Systems tutorials are operatedin
... are operatedin small groups (approx. 20 students), taking advantage of the extensive whiteboards available in the facility to promote open brainstorming as a means to solve problems. Students work in partnerships, but are encouraged to discuss with the other groups in the room, as to come to a consensus solution on a given problem. Instructors (usually 2) float around the room, coaching students as needed, but refrain from providing over-guidance and a final solution; ensuring students be cognizant of problem solving in industrial and/or higher-learning settings. This technique was beneficial to instructors, allowing for the easy identification of specific problem-solving skills students were lacking, and the appropriate corrections to be implemented. There were still some concerns about engaging timid students, and also with students becoming over-dependent on the group dynamic and not performing as well individually.