Making Room for Group Work I: Teaching Engineering in a Modern Classroom Setting


  • Robert J. Wilkens University of Dayton
  • Amy R. Ciric University of Dayton


This paper describes the results of several teaching experiments in the teaching Studio of The University of Dayton's Learning-Teaching Center. The Studio is a state-of-the-art classroom with a flexible seating arrangements and movable whiteboards and corkboards for small group discussions. The Studio has a communications system with a TV/VCR system, electronic SMART Board, and hook-ups for portable computers. The possibilities of this teaching Studio for facilitating novel group-learning exercises were explored in a special offering of an experimental methods course for chemical engineering undergraduates. This paper discusses the impact that several group-learning methods can have upon student learning in a unique classroom setting. 

Author Biographies

Robert J. Wilkens, University of Dayton

Bob Wilkens is Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Dayton. He received his BChE and MS from the University of Dayton and his PhD from Ohio University, all in chemical engineering. He worked as a postdoctoral research engineer at Shell Westhollow Technology Center in Houston. Texas. His primary research areas include multiphase fluid flow and agitation.

Amy R. Ciric, University of Dayton

Amy Ciric is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Dayton. She received BS degrees in chemical engineering and in physics from Carnegie Mellon University and her PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University Her research interests are in process engineering, with a particular emphasis on synthesis, simulation, and optimization.