Assessment of a Safety Module

Data collected and analyzed by Dr. Laura Hirshfield, University of Michigan


This is a compilation of the data obtained from the University of Michigan students who completed the Thermodynamics Praxair safety module as a part of a homework assignment for class in the Winter 2018 term. The safety module involved watching a video related to the Praxair explosion, working through the Safety Algorithm, then performing calculations related to the incident.

To assess the student perceptions of the safety module, later, all 122 students in the class received a survey to give feedback on the safety module. Sixty-two students completed the survey (a response rate of 50.8%). Students were asked to rate their agreement with a variety of statements, on a 1-7 Likert scale. Students also were asked to express how useful various elements of the module were in aiding their understanding of chemical engineering process safety. Overall, students responded positively to the use of the safety module in their course and agreed that it did add to their process safety knowledge.


Below, the proportion of students for each response for each statement are displayed graphically. Overall, students rated the safety module very highly. Most students agreed or strongly agreed with each statement about the module.

survey: interest
survey: understandable
survey: safety algorithm
survey: knowledge of CE
survey: enjoyment
survey: appreciation

Students were also asked to rate the utility of each of the elements of the safety module. Virtually all the students found all of the elements useful.

Survey: usefulness

Select Student Comments

At the end of the survey, students were asked to provide additional feedback. The responses below were selected to reflect students’ positive impressions of the use of the safety module in their course. Students reported:

  • “It was insightful to learn and see the consequences when safety factors are not properly considered.”
  • “This was a helpful experience and helped me begin my study of safety in the context of chemical engineering.”
  • “The safety module was very interesting. It was cool to see how what we learn in class has an immediate impact in the real world.”
  • “I thought it was an interesting way to apply what we are learning in class to a real-world example and especially safety, which we don’t get a lot of directly in class.”