Activities to Enhance Understanding of the Mole and Its Use in Chemical Engineering


  • Duncan M. Fraser University of Cape Town
  • Jennifer Case University of Cape Town


In this paper we present four sets of activities that we designed for our students to help them gain a better understanding of the mole and related concepts.  The paper gives the background to the development of these activities and discusses the results of our test of students' understanding of moles.  A short description of the activities is provided as well as some results that validate the use of the activities.

Author Biographies

Duncan M. Fraser, University of Cape Town

Duncan Fraser holds degrees of BSc and PhD, both from the University of Cape Town, where he has been lecturing since 1979. He has taught a wide range of courses, from first year to fourth year, including mass and energy balances, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, solid-fluid operations, optimization, process control, and design. His primary research interests are in engineering education and process synthesis.

Jennifer Case, University of Cape Town

Jennifer Case obtained her BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry from the University of Stellenbosch, after which she taught for a few years in a high school. She became interested in the field of educational research after doing an MEd degree in Science Education at the University of Leeds, and she currently serves as the Educational Development Officer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town.