Using Student-Produced Videos to Enhance Learning Engagement in a Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics Course


The traditional term research project report and presentation in the first chemical engineering thermodynamics course has been replaced with an assignment in which students produce short "YouTube" type videos that describe and demonstrate some underlying principles from thermodynamics. The students participate in this active learning project which allows them to further understand basic thermodynamic concepts and the same time as developing rudimentary video production skills and practicing good communication skills. The short video demonstrations developed are viewed by the class. In addition, video produced in previous semesters are available to students currently enrolled in the class in an asynchronous manner to help to reinforce key concepts on an as needed basis. This project addresses four focus areas, namely 1) enhance student professional development, 2) increase faculty-student interaction, 3) promote active learning and 4) improve attainment of learning outcomes. Oral and written communication skills have always been a critical component of a well rounded engineering or professional education. With the ease and availability of video recorders and platforms such a YouTube, visual communication using small videos is becoming more prevalent. More practicing professionals will be expected to develop short informational videos to share concepts, document operations and train coworkers. The video project aids in this professional development. As the students prepare their video presentations they interact more with the faculty member in a small group setting to provide feedback and direction in the development of a short video on some thermodynamic concept. The researching of the thermodynamic concept, the development of the "script" for their video presentation and the production of the video all lend themselves to active learning versus merely taking notes in lecture or reading the textbook. Also, reviewing the thermodynamic concept videos developed by their classmates also enhances the understanding and retention of the underlying concepts.

Meeting Name

AIChE Annual Meeting (2012: Oct. 28-Nov. 2, Pittsburgh, PA)


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Active Learning; Communication Skills; Critical Component; Engineering Thermodynamics; Enhance Learning; Faculty Members; Faculty-Student Interaction; Learning Outcome; Oral and Written Communication; Professional Development; Professional Education; Project Reports; Underlying Principles; Video Demonstration; Video Presentations; Video Production; Video Recorders; Youtube; Chemical Engineering; Communication; Research; Teaching; Thermodynamics; Video Recording; Visual Communication; Websites; Students

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2012

This document is currently not available here.