San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.228.1 - 25.228.21
Assessment of Student Knowledge in an Introductory Thermodynamics CourseAbstractThe first course in thermodynamics course builds the foundation for the thermal sciencecourses in an undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum. Those students, whoproperly learn the fundamental concepts, typically do well and enjoy the follow upthermal science courses. Therefore, assessment of student knowledge in this course isessential for student success in the follow up courses. Assessment of student knowledgeusually achieved through homework assignments, one or two mid semester exam, and afinal examination. The difficulty is that only simple problems can be included in a fifty-minute mid semester exam and one or two exams are not sufficient to gage studentmastery of all the topics covered in a course. Therefore, instructors rely on homeworkassignments to give students experience in solving more complex problems. However inthe recent years most student, if not all, have access to textbook solution manuals througha variety of sources. We have had a difficult time to convince student that an importantpart of engineering education for students to learn how to set up the problem solution ontheir own. As a result, many students who pass the first course in thermodynamics, havea shallow understanding of the subject matter and do not well in the follow up thermalscience courses. We have noticed that by increasing the number and frequency ofexaminations, students gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. But theincrease in the frequency of the examinations requires more work by the instructor inwriting and grading examinations. This is especially true for classes with largerenrollments. In the last few semesters, we have tried new ways of assigning homeworkproblems and assessing student knowledge in our introductory thermodynamics course.Our experience includes large classes with enrollment exceeding 120 students. Thispaper, will describe our experiences in teaching an introductory thermodynamics courseand its effect on student learning outcome. At the end of each semester students weresurveyed to get their feedback on the methods used in teaching the course and theassessment of student knowledge. This paper will provide a summary of the surveyresults.
Karimi, A., & Manteufel, R. D. (2012, June), Assessment of Student Knowledge in an Introductory Thermodynamics Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20988
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