Embedding enquiry-based learning in the first-year chemical engineering curriculum.

Esther Ventura-Medina, Ted Roberts, Leo Lue, Arthur Garforth, Richard Holmes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


This work describes the introduction and implementation of Enquiry-Based Learning in the first-year Chemical Engineering undergraduate curriculum at The University of Manchester. Changes to the undergraduate curriculum have been implemented as part of the curriculum review project. However, the main focus of this case-study is the use of Enquiry-Based Learning in the problem solving sessions that substitute for previous traditional tutorials. Problem solving sessions were carried out in a small group work format. Groups had eleven to twelve students each and a postgraduate facilitator for each session. Two-hour sessions were carried out three times a week using a mix of different types of problems: close-ended, open-ended and integrated. Problems were selected and designed to be as realistic as possible, integrating topics from different areas of knowledge. The problem solving sessions were introduced in September 2006 with a cohort of one-hundred and forty students. An evaluation of the new curriculum and in particular of the problem solving sessions was carried out through different strategies. The feedback from the evaluation has been very positive and suggested that although some improvements are needed, the problem solving sessions and the enquiry-based learning approach have been successful.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCEEBL Supported Projects 2006-7
EditorsS Anderson, K Comer, W Hutchings, K O'Rourke, NJ Powell
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameCase Studies
PublisherCentre for the Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning, University of Manchester


  • chemical engineering curriculum
  • enquiry-based learning


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