Assessment Task: How Things Work

posted in: Assessment | 1

Have students figure out how things work? This post show one example of how I might assess this.

Context. An engineering fluid mechanics class taught (junior level; 1st class). 
My Assumption:
 A student who has completed a first fluids course should understand the basic principle of a jet engine.
Purpose: Gage understanding of jet engines.

Task

assessment task

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Your Input:

Please help by adding a comment. Question I have:

  • Should an engineering student who has complete a fluid mechanics class understand how a jet engine works? Rationale?
  • What did I do well? What specifically do you like about this assessment task?
  • How can I do better? Can you give me specific ideas for improvement that are easy to implement?

One Response

  1. Barbara LeBret

    Strengths:
    1. Great visual
    2. concise,
    3. reasoning is straightforward.
    4. link is provided for more review of jet engines – this is a good connection because the purpose of the assessment is to gage student understanding of a jet engine.
    5. As an FYI, the interface is sharp and clean and sparkly – very attractive!

    Improvements:
    This question as a T/F, without the opportunity to provide method and reasoning, might be viewed as “unfair” to students, and as not a good assessment as viewed from the prospective of the assessor. A balloon and jet engine are similar insofar as both create a momentum force with a moving fluid. However when asked “this idea would be a good idea to apply to an airplane”, some students might say “no, because what do you do when the reservoir of air is exhausted – an engine is much better because you can continue to cause combustion which makes a lot more volume of air…..
    Similarly an instructor might consider that as crude analogy, this does not get into the actual function of a jet engine enough to assess students understanding of it.

    WAYS TO IMPROVE:
    1. add the opportunity for CT after selecting the T/F.
    2. Change the ” Assumption and Purpose” to something like:
    Assumption: A student who has completed a first fluids course should understand how momentum forces propel jet engines and balloon rockets.
    Purpose: Gage understanding of fluid propulsion
    The T/F question could be re-aligned accordingly.

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