COMPETENCY-BASED ASSESSMENT IN A BASIC COURSE OF FLUID MECHANICS
This paper presents a competency-based assessment proposal for a basic Fluid Mechanics course. It is proposed to substitute the final exam for the learning assessment of each of the learning objectives. This competency-based assessment consists of solving multiple-choice problems in the computer classroom. To demonstrate the acquisition of the competence defined in the learning objectives, the student must correctly answer at least 8 of the proposed problems, with a minimum of 10 problems per objective. This type of asynchronous evaluation can be carried out during tutoring hours and allows automatic correction by computer, simultaneously achieving a triple objective: (i) to free the teacher up workload; (ii) to guarantee a minimum of quality in the evaluation of the acquisition of the competencies required in a core subject and (iii) to make students responsible for their own learning. Students may self-assess their learning at any time during the semester and repeat the assessment when necessary.
The exercises originate from lists of proposed problems and exams from other years, but shortened so that they can be completed in approximately 20 minutes. In order to facilitate the resolution of the exercises, five possible results in test format are presented 2 minutes before the end of the exam, so that the students have to know how to solve the exercise before selecting the result. To prevent them from choosing the result at random, if they answer the question incorrectly, they are penalized and a correct answer is subtracted, so that in order to pass this learning objective they will have to complete two more problems.
The results of this new technique are compared with the results of the exams, and they show that students can keep up with the subject in a more efficient way. The problem is that it requires much more work than they are willing to do.