Plus-Minus-Interesting Exercises To Encourage Student Reflection

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2014-01-01
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Brewer, Catherine
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Lamm, Monica
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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It can be difficult to include time for reflection in a problem-solving course, and even more difficult to ensure that students reflect on their problem-solving strategy in a meaningful way. We have found the “plus-minus-interesting’’ or PMI scheme, to be a quick and effective framework for structuring brief, in-class reflection exercises that are completed by teams of students.

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This article is published as Lamm, Monica H., and Catherine E. Brewer. "Plus-Minus-Interesting Exercises To Encourage Student Reflection." Chemical Engineering Education 48, no. 2. Posted with permission.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014
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