It’s known that from the student’s perspective assessment forms the curriculum, which implies that the students will try to learn materials that they are going to be assessed on and not the material indicated in the curriculum. Thus, it is essential to make sure that the tasks in the assessment will reflect the learning outcomes. This can be achieved within a learning-centered course design (LCCD) framework as such assessment is interconnected with high level learning objectives (HLLO) and active learning activities (ALA). This framework is used to develop a new course, Fluid Mechanics, at Linköping University, Sweden. This paper investigates the assessment role in a LCCD with significant ALA and its contribution to CDIO standards 8 and 11. While developing the course, HLLO have been defined with valid developmental assessment and ALA. The assessment consists of a written examination and performing a number of tasks with equal contribution to the final grade. The general course structure includes lectures, seminars, lessons and computer labs. Three small tasks and one large task have been designed, referred to as “assignments” and “project”, respectively. The assignments as well as the project include a significant amount of MATLAB programming. For each assignment and the project three activities are included: seminar preparation, seminar and final report, all contributing to the final grading. The seminar preparation includes a set of preparatory questions where the students investigate answers to generic questions relevant to the given problem. The answers are handed in prior to the designated seminar for evaluation and feedback. During the seminar students are encouraged to actively participate in discussions (with grading as a reinforcement tool), and in the group formulating the answers to the questions, which assist them to solve the assignment. The seminar brings the students to ALA (CDIO standard 8) to obtain deeper understanding while improving their ability to explain and discuss the subjects taught within the course. This will also facilitate student assessment with respect to personal skills and disciplinary knowledge, CDIO standard 11. After the seminar, the students will solve the given assignment and submit a final report covering answers to the questions prior to the seminar as well as further investigations for evaluation. Worth-mentioning that while the assignments mostly cover new contents, the project is a combination of what has been taught earlier with additional learning contents. Moreover, the students are asked to formulate a relevant question in the end of each assignment and project, which they will be available to all the students as preparation for the exam. The written exam covers questions related to the lectures, assignments and seminars plus relevant questions addressed within lesson sessions as well as questions formulated by students themselves. The study highlights the importance of assessment in a LCCD framework and its contribution into enhancing the student’s knowledge, skills and attitude within the subject, described by CDIO standard 11. It is also shown that LCCD is a powerful method for meeting CDIO standards.
Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016