Below you can find the courses taught in quartile 3.
Statics of structures7P3X0
The Propaedeutic Council has generally not received many complaints concerning the Statics of Structures course in itself. However, students thought that the tutoring groups had too many people. Sometimes, the tutors seemed to be overwhelmed by the number of students they had to face in a classroom; hence, more personal tutoring in smaller groups may be more efficient and motivating for the students, and possibly for the tutors as well.
It was quite impractical to receive the lecture slides by email, and would have been better to have them all uploaded on Canvas directly. However, students thought that the lectures were good. The Structural Design assignment was seen as a little vague, the level of detail that was expected for it was not easy to estimate.
Intermediate exam: Students were unsatisfied with the fact that only the final elaboration would be considered for marking, and that the elaboration process (on the scrap paper) was not taken into account. Furthermore, some students were surprised and unhappy about the fact that no extra-time was given to them even if they were entitled receive it. Finally, the layout of the exam was quite impractical: there was too little space to write down the answers (nor some parts of their elaboration). The study material was good.
Final exam: Firstly, lot of students did not expect it to be a second part to the exam concerning Structural Design. Having a full-length trial exam on Canvas would perhaps allow students to understand what the exam is made up of better. The fact that the two parts of the exam were given separately made it difficult for students to manage their time and they could not estimate the time that it would take them to do the Structural Design part without having seen it. It would be better to be given both parts at the same time. In the Structural Design part of the exam, some questions were very vague – it was difficult to understand what was expected. In addition, some questions seemed to require a lot of details to be answered fully, yet the number of points and the space given for the answer did not correspond to that level of detail. Hence, it was difficult to know how far one had to elaborate their answer for their answer to be counted as ‘correct’. Some questions of the Structural Design were never tackled during the lectures, and the level of detail that seemed to be expected to answer them was too high – students cannot be expected to learn such a long reader in such depth. It has been suggested that the Stuctural Design part of the exam should be a multiple choice one.
The workload to pass the course, for most students, seems to correspond to the number of ECTSs given for the course. The Propaedeutic Council has not received any complaints concerning the workload for the course, except for the Stuctural Design part of the exam relative to the level of detail that was expected.
Introduction to Building Physics and Materials Science7S3X0
The course was split up into two parts, Material Sciences taught by Jos Brouwers and Florent Gauvin, and Introduction to Building Physics taught by Twan van Hooff, Maarten Hornikx, and Mariëlle Aarts. Information regarding the course was communicated through canvas and canvas announcements.
In general announcements and course, planning was well done, with the expectation of a few late announcements that were uploaded late in the week. The course provided enough information and aid to keep students on track for their exams. The assignment for this course was properly explained and was a good addition to the course. The feedback provided for this assignment was helpful and provided students with further insight into IBPM.
The lectures for the first part of the course were held online using Microsoft teams, while the second half of the course provided pre-recorded video lectures. The contents were well explained and relevant. The lectures were well organized and for the pre-recorded video lectures there was an accompanying Q&A session, which allowed students to ask questions and get a better understanding of the course material.
Some lectures, especially in the first part of the course, were a little disorganized when it came to the slides and the sequences in which they were explained. However, having the lecture slides uploaded did help with revisiting the content and getting a better understanding. Some lectures were too long with no organized breaks, which resulted in some students losing their concentration. A suggestion for future lectures is to provide a short break after a couple of minutes for students to refresh.
For this course, there were multiple quizzes throughout the quartile, after each lecture. The quizzes were great when it came to understanding the style questions students should expect for their exam. The quizzes were not available for students to review after which could have helped in the review process. The timing regarding the quizzes was not always appreciated and maybe better planning would help with this issue.
The intermediate exam was a good representation of the final exam in terms of the questions and was well organized. The questions also aided in the revision for the final exam. Besides the intermediate test, there were also some practice questions provided that helped in the study process, however, more past papers and extra questions would have been more appreciated by students.
The end exam was held both on-campus and online (for students unable to go to campus). In general, the exam was well received by the students and accurately represented the course since the questions were similar to the quiz and practice questions.
On average the amount of time students dedicated to the course matched with the number of credits for this course (140 hours). The workload was overall manageable, especially when information on upcoming lectures and videos was uploaded early - giving students enough time to plan.
The overall structure of the course was understandable and well communicated. The teachers were approachable and knowledgeable on the subject - making the course interesting.
Something that could benefit the course structure is making an overall planning for both parts of the course and uploading it at the start of th quartile, this makes the course clear and students are then able to plan ahead with a complete overview of the course.
Another thing that would benefit the course and the way it is received by students is, as mentioned above, allocating specific breaks after a couple of minutes during the lectures. As well as, changing the time in which the students had to complete the quiz. This was not a problem for every student but there was a lot of feedback given on this aspect. Some students did not appreciate having to be tested on a lecture right at the end, they would much prefer to do it at the beginning of the next lecture. This, of course, is a preference for some students and not all - so any adjustments or improvements on this aspect would have t be well evaluated with the perspective and input of a number of different students.
First of all the readers had a lot of mistakes, that could easily be improved.
The course is not experienced as one whole, because of the combination of different subjects. Maybe reducing this or making the different parts less specific would be helpful. Now it feels like multiple courses in one.
Overall this course is considered to be difficult. Moreover, Quartile 3 is considered as the most difficult quartile in the first year. It would be better to pair IBPM with easier courses, in a different quartile.
The plastic garage project was very hard for students from different faculties outside of the built environment. These students do not have the pre-knowledge architecture students have. Combining the teams with students from different faculties has a positive effect on the assignment because students from the built environment could share their pre-knowledge. On the other hand, there were some complaints from students who said their partner did not work hard enough. These students ended up doing more than their partner.
The plastic garage assignment was experienced to be quite vague. It would be good if a clear rubric is provided. Though it was mentioned that there was a rubric, a lot of the students weren’t sure where to find it.
The lectures for material science were not experienced very interesting by students. Due to the enormous amount of information given.
People don’t know where to start learning, because the information was to much.
Going through the study guide for material science was also a problem due to all the grammatical mistakes. Particularly considering that this increased the time that the students spent revising during the midterms.
building physics part:
We heard from a lot of students that the lectures are hard to follow and remember. A lot of information and especially formulas are given in a short period of time. This results in confusion. If the lectures contain more examples and explanations, they would become more interesting and therefore better to remember. The lighting part, on the other hand, had a lot of examples, was very interesting and had a really enthusiastic lecturer.
The different parts are experienced to be very to specific. The different parts are very big and it is therefore hard to know where to start learning and what is important information to learn. It is simply not doable to study every detail.
Learning for the exam was hard, since there were not a lot of exercises with only an number as answer and not a calculation. This way most students had no idea what they did wrong, when their answer wasn’t right.
If there was more study material (calculation by the exercises) the exam would be fine. For the exam of this year, there was a mistake in one of the questions. The right answer was missing, this made it very confusing.
The workload was overall good. The one thing is that the intermediate test is quite a big and important test. This is different from other courses, but not really a bad thing.
The course was well structured and it was clear what had to be done. Small note: the canvas page was not always clear because it was sorted by action and not by day.
The video lectures and problems. The course responsibles did not have access to the video's and therefore had to ask central services.
The programming was not very memorable, that was because the idea is what to look for not to remember everything. It is fine to look those kind of things up. If you got 79 points for the assignment, you failed and you had to redo it. Maybe make smaller parts (which has to down side that there are more assignments).
During the exam, you were not able to go back which made it more difficult to know how much time to spend on a question. For every question, you had 3 minutes. This year it was not possible to go back. The system does not allow it because it avoids cheating.
The graded assignments were a lot during the GA and homework hand-in dates. It would help if the deadline were on different dates and students had more time.
This course has great potential as data is something every engineer has to work with. Parts of the course are worked out well, but there is still quite some room for improvement. The lectures where quite clear, so apart from some minor issues we wouldn’t change all too much about this. The project should put more focus on the data analytics part of the course and less on programming. This programming comes with a high workload while it isn’t informative for Built Environment students. The course should put more emphasises on changing the mindset of students instead of letting us copy and paste code we do not understand. We have found the following feedback from our own experience, from other students and from a survey under first year Built Environment students.
The lectures are quite clear, but it is often hard to find the connection between the lectures and the project. Furthermore, the lecture rooms where often quite noisy and the Blauwe Zaal isn’t really suitable for this course as there is no possibility to take notes.
For the project, although it is stated that this is not the case, it feels like you need basic skills in programming to understand what you are doing. Built Environment students have no affinity with programming and so people either put a disproportionate amount of time in the course to kind of understand what is going on or they copy code from others. This doesn’t seem to be the intention of the course to us. We would thus suggest putting more emphasises on the data analytics part and less on the programming part, or even skipping the Python programming part altogether. Most Built Environment students don’t have any direct benefit of learning a programming language and 8 weeks isn’t enough time to learn a programming language, most people didn’t learn anything about programming altogether even though they put a lot of time in it. Another option would be to divide the course in an A, B and C part where each part is more adjusted to different studies, just like for the courses Calculus and Applied Physical Sciences.
The lab sessions are a great way of asking for help and so we should definitely recommend keeping this, but it would be even better if the groups where smaller or if there were more tutors per group, as students had to wait quite often until they got help.
The final exam was easily doable if you learned for the course, which is a good point. The poster presentations where also good organized and there was a clear rubric. The examination part of this course is done well.
The workload for the lecture part is fine, but the project part, especially the programming, took a disproportionate amount of time since students didn’t know exactly what they were doing. This should definitely be fixed next year by critically looking at what kind of programming should be included. You should take into account that Built Environment students don’t have any kind of affinity with programming and so the project should be clear, informative and it should be doable in a reasonable amount of time.