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CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT IN THERMODYNAMICS THROUGH AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED PUPIL-CUSTOMIZED EXERCISES

This paper describes the work that the group of Applied Thermodynamics of the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers (the Technical University of Madrid) is carrying out in order to adequate the teaching of Thermodynamics to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) frame. In this context, one of the most crucial points is the implementation of a set of activities that allow a continuous assessment on the students’ learning, in order to collect information about what pupils know, understand, and can do along the course, as well as to improve their academic achievement. In our School, there are two subjects on Thermodynamics common to all the students and given in the second year of the Industrial Engineer Degree. Thus, a huge number of students enrolled on them and a reduced number of teachers make an individual tracking impossible, although desirable.

The work described here is focused on the preparation, development, implementation and integration on a e-platform (AulaWeb) placed database of applications that generates in real time pupil customized activities. Exercises are automatically prepared each time that the students enter the application, leading to different kinds of questions (simple-choice, multiple-choice, integer number, real number, variable problem definition) which are also different for every run of the application. Difficulty of questions is similar to that of the final examination and the student gets an instantaneous correction, calculated and given by the application at the moment. Therefore, these exercises can be integrated in the students daily learning allowing them to know the real degree of understanding of the concepts discussed in classes in comparison with the exam demands. Furthermore, the teacher becomes free of the correction of numerous exercises, causing a saving of time that can be spent in other more active educational activities, such as tutorship, class preparation, etc.