A three-dimensional teaching model of “Design and Calculation of Non-ferrous Metals” based on the professional accreditation of engineering education

  On June 2, 2016, the General Assembly of the International Engineering Union was held in Kuala Lumpur, establishing the status of official member of China’s international undergraduate engineering degree mutual recognition agreement, the Washington Agreement. This means that China’s engineering education professional accreditation system has been internationally recognized and China’s higher education will truly go global. The concept of professional accreditation in engineering education is student-centered, result-oriented, focusing on continuous improvement, and focusing on students’ future development needs. Therefore, the course “Design and Calculation of Non-ferrous Metals”, which is very professional and practical, has a very important role in establishing students’ concepts and awareness of engineering design and application, and cultivating students’ ability to solve complex engineering problems in metallurgy.

However, this course generally has old and boring contents, fragmented and unsystematic structure, abstract and unspecific process flow and operation equipment, and cannot be well practiced in the traditional teaching process, which leads to low quality of teaching and makes it difficult to effectively improve students’ ability of engineering design and application.

  In the teaching process, three-dimensional teaching can effectively stimulate students’ interest in learning and independent learning consciousness, and improve students’ learning effect. Stereoscopic teaching pursues the comprehensive and in-depth integration of theory and practice, which can stimulate students’ learning enthusiasm and enhance learning effect in all aspects and at all levels with the help of paper teaching materials, physical teaching aids, electronic teaching plans, multimedia courseware, virtual simulation training system and online teaching platform. Aiming at the requirements of professional certification of engineering education, the three-dimensional teaching mode of Nonferrous Metals Design and Calculation is explored with student-centered, result-oriented and continuous improvement, aiming at establishing students’ concepts and awareness of engineering design and application, cultivating students’ ability to solve complex engineering problems in metallurgy and improving their comprehensive quality.

  1 Combine with the requirements of engineering education professional certification, clarify the course objectives and optimize teaching contents

  Through the interpretation and decomposition of the index points of metallurgical engineering graduation requirements, the course “Non-ferrous Metal Design and Calculation” requires students to master the basic concepts, procedures and contents of metallurgical plant design, master the selection and design of metallurgical plant process, balance calculation, equipment selection and design, plant layout and workshop design, understand the economic analysis of non-ferrous metallurgical plant design, establish the concept of engineering design and application Students will be able to understand the economic analysis of non-ferrous metallurgical plant design, establish the concept and awareness of engineering design and application, and develop the preliminary ability to design and calculate metallurgical plant process and its equipment. On this basis, we will sort out the knowledge of this course and optimize the teaching contents.

  (1) Construct the knowledge framework, grasp the main line of teaching, and highlight the important and difficult points.

Non-ferrous metal design and calculation” course is a compulsory course for undergraduate students of non-ferrous metallurgy, which aims to lay the necessary basic knowledge for students of non-ferrous metallurgy in non-ferrous plant design, technical transformation and transformation of scientific and technological research results of non-ferrous metallurgy into productivity. Plant design covers feasibility study, preliminary design and construction drawing design, construction, commissioning and acceptance, etc. The course content focuses on preliminary design and construction drawing design, and the main line is plant site selection, general plan design and process design.

The process design is rich in content, in addition to process selection and design, material and energy balance, equipment selection and design, plant layout design, piping design, but also includes technical and economic analysis and safety and environmental protection. The teaching process should grasp the main line, using multimedia courseware, virtual simulation training system, network teaching platform and other three-dimensional teaching mode in the seemingly boring content to find its inner connection and law, vivid image, layer by layer, in-depth, focused, so that students effectively master the design and calculation of non-ferrous metallurgical plant processes and equipment.

  (2) Highlighting the cultivation of ability and improving students’ engineering awareness and practical ability.

The teaching goal of “Design and Calculation of Non-ferrous Metals” is to cultivate students’ ability to analyze and solve problems by applying basic theories and research methods, and to emphasize the cultivation of students’ practical and engineering application ability. Around the teaching content, it is combined with metallurgical field production examples to reflect the professional and practical characteristics of the course. When teaching chapter content, we reasonably arrange examples and cite typical cases and engineering examples to guide students to actively think, analyze and solve problems, and improve their active participation and engineering awareness.

  (3) Update the teaching content, broaden students’ knowledge and adapt to social development.

Non-ferrous metal design and calculation” course involves the content of traditional metallurgy, but with the development of society, the actual production involves a lot of new metallurgical technologies and processes, which need to be reflected in the lectures, such as pressurized hydrometallurgy, biological hydrometallurgy, oxygen-rich flash copper refining, direct lead refining, etc. have been industrialized. Each chapter of the teaching content should focus on the frontier of the discipline, introduce new technologies and processes of metallurgy, broaden students’ knowledge, adapt to the development of the times, and cultivate talents to meet the needs of society.

  2 Adopt student-centered and three-dimensional teaching mode to strengthen teaching effect

  The professional certification of engineering education is an education model based on learning output (OBE), which emphasizes what students learn. Therefore, the lectures should take the training objectives and graduation requirements as the reference point, and adopt a three-dimensional teaching mode to reasonably assess whether the students reach the graduation requirements.

  Design and Calculation of Non-ferrous Metals is based on classroom teaching, supplemented by extra-curricular learning, classroom and extra-curricular assignments, and PowerPoint group presentations. The content involves a large number of equipment drawings, plant layout drawings, balance calculations and process design parameters. During classroom teaching, CAD drawings can be embedded to show equipment body diagrams, equipment link diagrams, floor plans, etc.; virtual simulation technology can be used to present metallurgical plant floor plans, show virtual scenes of process flow, independent smelting operations, etc.; flash can be incorporated to analyze the working principle of equipment and demonstrate the process flow, etc.; and “question-based “, “heuristic”, “comparison”, “discussion”, “summary “and other methods of teaching, to guide students to actively think about the problem, analysis, problem solving.

Meanwhile, for the important and difficult knowledge in the course, special class discussion sessions are arranged and a certain amount of homework is assigned. The knowledge points involved in the exercises cover the key points and difficulties of the lecture content to strengthen and consolidate students’ mastery of the knowledge points. In addition, some typical cases or knowledge points are selected and students are allowed to form teams to make their own classroom materials to explain on the stage, and the teacher and other students can ask questions and add to the content of the explanation to stimulate students’ independent learning awareness and enhance the learning effect. In this process, students can also develop non-technical skills such as organizational management, coordination, teamwork and communication skills, so that students can better adapt to the needs of society and employers.

The second classroom is opened outside the classroom, teachers and students can share class resources, question and answer exchanges, exercise counseling and explanation and online test self-assessment by WeChat/QQ group and online platform, etc. to guide students to take the initiative to think and actively summarize, deepen students’ understanding and mastery of basic concepts, basic principles, processes and balance calculations of the course, so that students can benefit and promote all students to reach graduation requirements.   

3 Finding target shortcomings, identifying problems and continuously improving course quality

  Based on the analysis of the OBE course assessment results, and taking into account the problems reflected by the usual homework, students’ questions, QQ/WeChat Q&A, students’ evaluation of teaching, peer evaluation of teaching, and teaching supervisors’ listening to classes, we search for the shortcomings of the course objectives, put forward targeted improvement measures in teaching, and purposefully add them to teaching and training to strengthen students’ mastery of knowledge points and training of weak links of index points. For example, based on the analysis of OBE course assessment results, the following problems were found.

(1) Some students have certain deficiencies in the differentiation and application of different concepts and specific knowledge points.

(2) Some students have incomplete mastery of basic theory and inappropriate calculation methods.

(3) Students’ ability to apply theoretical knowledge to analyze practical problems is not comprehensive enough. In view of this, the subject group put forward the following improvement suggestions after discussion.

(1) The subsequent teaching should be moderately comparative and analytical to distinguish different concepts and strengthen students’ mastery and application of specific knowledge points in design.
(2) Adopt in-class homework, open up second classroom and stage quizzes to strengthen students’ real-time mastery of calculation theory and methods.
(3) Continue to strengthen the teaching and analysis of engineering cases. Through the closed-loop management mechanism of “evaluate – improve – re-evaluate”, strengthen the result-oriented teaching and promote the achievement of course objectives, the quality of course teaching will be continuously improved.

  4 Conclusion

  Engineering education professional certification is a systematic project for all students and requires all students to meet graduation requirements. During the lectures, student-oriented, three-dimensional teaching methods such as electronic lesson plans, multimedia courseware, virtual simulation training system and online teaching platform can stimulate students’ interest in learning at multiple levels and in all aspects and improve the quality of lectures.

In addition, based on the OBE concept, finding the shortcomings of course objectives, targeting in teaching, insisting on goal orientation, focusing on continuous improvement and being practical, can effectively improve students’ ability to analyze and solve problems and promote the achievement of course objectives and students’ graduation requirements.