|Data Source||Formative||Summative||Feedback for Me|
|Muddiest Part of the Lecture||X||.||X|
|End-of-term SEF data||.||.||X|
4. How well did the students perform on each subject learning objective? (Where possible, make reference to specific data to support your conclusion.)
The performance on the homework (see plot below) and the time spent (see plot below) were both good with students on average performing well. The performance on the quiz is shown in the table below with each question labeled in terms of the learning objectives that were addressed. Middle-B performance for the quiz was 78%, suggesting the class on average (75.4%) was close to this standard. More than half of the points on the quiz were devoted to assessing conceptual understanding (versus the mechanics of solving a problem), consistent with the learning objectives.
- To be able to state the First Law and to define heat, work, thermal efficiency and the difference between various forms of energy.
As evidenced by the performance on questions 1e, 1f, and 1h, most of the students achieved this learning objective. One deficiency surfaced with flow work and shaft work (1d), but I think if I would have directly asked what these forms of work were, the students would have done well. This particular question asked for an extension of these ideas and application to a cycle.
- To be able to identify and describe energy exchange processes (in terms of various forms of energy, heat and work) in aerospace systems.
To be able to explain at a level understandable by a high school senior or non-technical person how various heat engines work (e.g. a refrigerator, an IC engine, a jet engine).
Both of these learning objectives were well-addressed in homework #1 and on quiz question #2. I was pleased with the student performance in this area. In particular, they took home the message (delivered in lecture and recitations) that they were required to describe the workings of heat engines in terms of energy. Reading the answers on the quiz (from most but not all students) was a pleasant surprise.
- To be able to apply the steady-flow energy equation or the First Law of Thermodynamics to a system of thermodynamic components (heaters, coolers, pumps, turbines, pistons, etc.) to estimate required balances of heat, work and energy flow.
Historically the students do very well on this learning objective since it stresses the mechanical elements of solving a thermodynamics problem, versus conceptual understanding. The very good performance on quiz problem 3 is evidence of this. There was however, a weakness with the frame dependence of stagnation quantities as seen on problem 4. Due to having one less lecture this year (this was replaced with the review session after the quiz), I had to spend a little less time on this topic. It is always the most difficult topic for the students conceptually anyway, and their performance suffered.
- To be able to explain at a level understandable by a high school senior or non-technical person the concepts of path dependence/independence and reversibility/irreversibility of various thermodynamic processes, to represent these in terms of changes in thermodynamic state, and to cite examples of how these would impact the performance of aerospace power and propulsion systems.
The students performed well in this area as evidenced by quiz questions 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1g. Indeed, the biggest change from last year was the performance in understanding the requirements for and implications of quasi-equilibrium. This was the weakest part of the quiz performance last year so I focused on it more in lecture - to good effect I think.
- To be able to apply ideal cycle analysis to simple heat engine cycles to estimate thermal efficiency and work as a function of pressures and temperatures at various points in the cycle.
Their homework performance and quiz performance (3a, 3b, 3c) on this learning objective were very good.
5. What actions did you take this semester to improve the subject as a result of previous reflections or input from students or colleagues?
- The major action was introducing a quiz recap/discussion directly following completion of the quiz, under the presumption that this was a "teachable moment". Most of the students in the class found this helpful as noted in the response to the PRS question "I found the quiz review after the exams helpful, and think they are a better use of time than adding another lecture; 1=strongly agree, 2=agree, 3=neutral, 4=disagree, 5=strongly disagree" shown below. I too found this to be a good addition - worth the trade of an additional lecture hour. It enabled me to explain how the quiz was designed, to address questions, and to discuss scoring rubrics.
- I improved my delivery of quasi-equilibrium processes (evidenced on the exam performance and mud responses) by focusing on the physical implications and physical examples. The students had a much easier time understanding the time to reach equilibrium when applied to a coffee cup.
- I worked with Robin to increase the font size for the imbedded equations in the Web notes so they are more readable.
- I also added new discussions regarding cp & cv and frame dependence of stagnation quantities based on previous years' mud responses.
- I improved my presentation of cv & cp, in particular the implications for them being only a function of temperature for ideal gases. I did this with reference to doing an experiment - the physical example seemed easier for the students to grasp. I have added this example to the notes.
6. How do you use feedback from students and colleagues to improve your subject?
The most valuable feedback I get comes in the form of class performance on the PRS questions. I use this in real time to modify my lectures. Second most valuable is the feedback on the mud cards which I use to modify the next lecture and as a way of updating the course notes.
7. What will you continue or change?
- I will continue to use the suite of teaching and assessment methods.
- I will continue to schedule a quiz recap directly following the quiz.
- I will add some additional discussions to the notes focusing on the physical implications of quasi-equilibrium processes. This went well this year and I need to capture it in the notes.
- I will continue to seek a new strategy for discussing the frame dependence of stagnation quantities. I will schedule a meeting with Darmofal and Greitzer to see if we can brainstorm some ideas.
8. To whom have you forwarded this reflective memo?
- Prof. Zoltan Spakovszky (16.050 instructor)
- Students from this class
- Students who will take the class next year
- Other members of the Unified staff