Abstract

This paper reports the first classroom experience using the package Heat Transfer 1.0 (Maliska et al, 1997) in an introductory heat conduction course. The key objective in conceiving Heat Transfer 1.0 was to stimulate the physical reasoning in heat transfer, bringing to the students the possibility of having intimacy with the flow of heat in physical situations where this flow is more complex than the usual 1D patterns presented in normal textbooks. Therefore, the basic idea behind its conceptual form was to have more than merely a tool to help the student to solve the heat conduction equation. The key objective was to create a tool that allows students to formulate new problems and to speculate about its physical behavior. More, the software should appear attractive and easy-to-use, becoming part of the students toolbox, and not seen as “one more package” whose use is compulsory in the course. Student’s opinions taken through a questionnaire submitted to them just after the end of the course revealed that they found the software easy-to-use and that it broadened their knowledge of conduction heat transfer.

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