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Oral Assessments of Student Learning in Undergraduate Aerospace Propulsion and Power Courses

[+] Author and Article Information
Kurt P. Rouser

School of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Oklahoma State University,
Stillwater, OK 74074
e-mail: kurt.rouser@okstate.edu

Contributed by the Education Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received June 27, 2017; final manuscript received June 28, 2017; published online September 13, 2017. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(12), 124701 (Sep 13, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1235; doi: 10.1115/1.4037577 History: Received June 27, 2017; Revised June 28, 2017

A purposeful approach has been taken to match teaching pedagogies (techniques), learning experiences, and assessment methods to various types of students learning in undergraduate aerospace propulsion courses at the junior-level at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and senior-level at Oklahoma State University (OSU), Stillwater, OK. Prior studies in the scholarship of teaching and learning have shown the benefits of matching assessment methods, as well as teaching pedagogies and learning experiences, to the types of students learning associated with desired educational outcomes. Literature suggests the best method for teaching and assessing student’ cognitive learning is through explanation and presentation. Oral assessments have been implemented at the Air Force Academy and Oklahoma State University to evaluate students' cognitive learning in undergraduate aerospace propulsion and power courses. An oral midterm exam was performed to assess students' acquisition knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts, the type of learning occurring early in course lesson sequences. End-of-semester design project poster sessions and presentations served as summative oral assessments of students' creative thinking, decision making, and professional judgment. Conversely, two written midterm exams and a final exam primarily focused on assessing students' problem solving skills and less on comprehensive knowledge. Oral assessments also served as reflective thinking experiences that reinforced student learning. Student feedback on oral assessment methods was collected through surveys conducted after each assessment. Survey results not only revealed the effectiveness of using oral assessments but also on how to improve their design and implementation, including the use of information technology (IT) and broader curricular employment.

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OSU MAE4243 end-of-semester course survey results

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