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.


assessment task




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

    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!

    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.

    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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