In the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, we strive to impart the best education possible by employing top educators and addressing different learning styles through varied and innovative teaching techniques.

In an effort to address all learning styles and better assess problem areas, we utilize:

  • Screencast videos (over 17 million views!)
  • ConcepTests and peer instruction
  • Interactive simulations
  • Thinking aloud pair problem solving (TAPPS)
  • Flipped classrooms
  • Interactions with industry
  • In-class worksheets
  • Recitation sessions
  • Discussion boards and online quizzes

Our department places a heavy emphasis on quality of teaching, with many of our faculty being nationally recognized: 

  • 15/28 teaching faculty have won one or more teaching awards
  • Major teaching awards:
    • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (3)
    • NSPE Engineering Education Excellence Award
    • AIChE Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education
    • CMA Catalyst Teaching Award
    • ASEE Lifetime Achievement Award in Chemical Engineering Pedagogy
    • ASEE Outstanding Teaching Awards (3)
    • ASEE AT&T Award for Education
    • Research Corporation Cottrell Teacher/Scholar Award
    • Rocky Mountain ASEE Outstanding Faculty Award (7)
    • University of Colorado Distinguished Professor (2)
    • University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholar
    • Hazel Barnes Prize (2)
    • John and Mercedes Peebles Innovation in Education Award (3)
    • Sullivan-Carlson Innovation in Teaching Award (2)
    • Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Awards (6)
    • Charles A. Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award (8)

Screencasting exampleScreencasts are digital recordings of the output from a computer monitor, including narration. They are available on Screencasts show example problems, present mini-lectures on important topics, explain how to use software packages, describe interactive simulations, explain how to use graphs and diagrams, solve exam problems for review, and present interactive ConcepTests.

Faculty in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering have used screencasts since 2008 for courses ranging from freshman level general chemistry to graduate level reaction kinetics. They are often similar to material presented in class, but students can go through them at their own pace and time – pausing to work calculations on their own, replaying sections that are difficult to understand, and watching the video weeks later to review material.

Interest in these instructor-narrated videos has seen dramatic growth: as of 2017, the 1,450 videos had been viewed more than 17 million times.

Learn more at learncheme.comYouTube and ITunesU.

ConcepTest ExampleThe objective of engineering education is to prepare students to apply the important concepts in their field to real situations. ConcepTests and Peer Instruction allow students to formulate their own ideas, explain their thoughts to their classmates, and get immediate feedback from the instructor on difficult concepts or misconceptions they have during lecture. This creates dialog that helps students better understand material presented in class.

The Chemical and Biological Engineering has developed a library of thousands of ConcepTests for core chemical engineering courses such as:

  • Fluids
  • Heat Transfer
  • Kinetics/Reactor Design
  • Mass & Energy Balances
  • Materials Science
  • Separations & Mass Transfer
  • Thermodynamics  

Faculty who would like access to our library of materials can sign up on the ConcepTest homepage.