A Longitudinal Study of Engineering Student Performance and Retention. IV. Instructional Methods



As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, the author taught five chemical engineering courses in consecutive semesters to a cohort of students, using cooperative learning and other instructional methods designed to address a broad spectrum of learning styles. This paper outlines the policies and procedures, assignments, and classroom activities in the experimental course sequence and describes the students' performance and attitudes as they progressed through the sequence. The results suggest that active and cooperative learning methods facilitate both learning and a variety of interpersonal and thinking skills, and that while these methods may initially provoke student resistance, the resistance can be overcome if the methods are implemented with care.