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Effects of reducing the time spent on traditional lectures
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (Digital Media Lab)
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu: Chengdu University of Information Technology , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes the outcome of a completely revised course implementation for the course Thermodynamics (15 ETCS), a standard physics course at basic level. Historically, this course has been taught in a traditional way, i.e. almost daily lectures combined with a week of lab classes and a written examination concluded the course. Hence, during the roughly 25-30 lectures during the course, most parts of the literature was covered. However, analyzing the results over a 10 year period, where different lecturers has been teaching the course, it can be observed that there are no significant differences in the examination results due to the teacher effort. This observation is not new and of course somewhat disappointing for an enthusiastic lecturer that has a belief in that he/she can make a big difference for the student. With these observations in mind, we set out to do something radically different where the key question is how we get the student to devote sufficient time to pass the exam. Thus, in the revised course implementation, only eight lectures of overview character were given, usually at the start of a week. After each lecture, the students were given eight assignments that they should prepare for, and be able to present, at a seminar that usually occurred at the end of the week. To increase the students’ willingness to actually fulfill the assignment, they were rewarded with a bonus that gave credit at the written exam. The student group performed roughly similar to previous groups on the written exam, but there were a number of differences in the overall performance that will be thoroughly discussed in the paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chengdu: Chengdu University of Information Technology , 2015.
Keyword [en]
Course redesign, Active learning, Problem solving, Seminar approach, Standards: 2, 8, 11
National Category
Didactics Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105542OAI: diva2:826401
11th international CDIO Conference, June 8-11 2015, Chengdu, China
Available from: 2015-06-25 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Näslund, ErikMejtoft, Thomas
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