Quartile 3

Below you can find the courses taught in quartile 3.

Statics of structures

7P3X0
General

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.

Lectures/project

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.

Examination

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.

Workload

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 Science

7S3X0
General

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.

Lectures/project

Materials part:
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.

Examination

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.

Workload

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.

Data analytics

2IAB0
General

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.

Lectures/project

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.

Examination

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.

Workload

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.