174 paper

Impact on student learning: Student evaluations of online formative assessment in fluid mechanics

Karen M. Scott, Mary-Helen Ward
USyd eLearning, Office of the PVC (Learning and Teaching)
The University of Sydney

Graeme Wood
School of Civil Engineering
The University of Sydney

This paper looks at the way in which students in core second and third year units of study are using a set of automated practice calculations which have been developed with automatic marking and feedback, and prepared and delivered online. The calculations are in spreadsheet format and are downloaded by students from a WebCT site. Every time students open a file they are presented with a new set of data to practice on. These calculations were introduced into a 2nd year unit in semester 2 2005 and a 3rd year unit in semester 1 2006. The students’ use and perceptions of use in general were correlated with student performance on complex calculations questions in the final examination. The results of this analysis will: a) improve the student learning experience in relation to the way in which the online resource is being used to complement face-to-face teaching; b) develop a model for the provision of online automated practice activities to be made more widely available throughout the School of Civil Engineering and the wider University.