YouTube Fridays: Engaging the Net Generation in 5 Minutes a Week


  • Matthew W. Liberatore Colorado School of Mines


YouTube Fridays is a teaching tool that devotes the first five minutes of class each Friday to a YouTube video related to the course. Students select the videos, which expand the class’s educational content in courses such as thermodynamics and material and energy balances. From assessments of two pilot studies using YouTube Fridays in Chemical Engineering courses, it is clear that the tech-savvy students of the net generation enjoy finding and sharing the videos. The pedagogical value of the activity is obvious, as determined from evaluation of the written reports submitted by the students. Several examples of advanced chemical engineering topics (e.g., the CSTR) have been introduced to sophomore students taking their first chemical engineering course as part of this activity. Overall, this use of technology in the classroom clearly engages the technology-centric students that encompass the majority of college campuses today.

Author Biography

Matthew W. Liberatore, Colorado School of Mines

Matthew W. Liberatore is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He earned a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in chemical engineering. His current research involves the rheology of complex fluids especially traditional and renewable energy fluids, entangled polymer solutions, and surfactant-polymer mixtures.