C. Vieira, A. Jana, M. Konieczny, R.E. García, and A. Magana. “Integrating Computational Science Tools into a Thermodynamic Course.” Journal of Science Education and Technology. January, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-017-9726-9
Computational tools and methods have permeated multiple science and engineering disciplines, because they enable scientists and engineers to process large amounts of data, represent abstract phenomena, and to model and simulate complex concepts. In order to prepare future engineers with the ability to use computational tools in the context of their disciplines, some universities have started to integrate these tools within core courses. This paper evaluates the effect of introducing three computational modules within a thermodynamics course on student disciplinary learning and self-beliefs about computation. The results suggest that using worked examples paired to computer simulations to implement these modules have a positive effect on (1) student disciplinary learning, (2) student perceived ability to do scientific computing, and (3) student perceived ability to do computer programming. These effects were identified regardless of the students’ prior experiences with computer programming.