M. Petrov, T. Fransson

Royal Swedish Institute of Technology (KTH) (SWEDEN)
A conceptual analysis of automatically-corrected digitalized calculation exercises and their plausible practical design and implementation in energy engineering education is presented and discussed. The target course focuses on sustainable power generation, taught to MSc-level students of various nationalities both on campus and off-campus, at the Department of Energy Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Computerized teaching and training tools are becoming important and widely applied to all types and levels of education. Often, classes on campus are being taught in parallel with distance-based groups, which require commonly applicable educational tools and online platforms. Moreover, the digitalization of study material and the home-learning approach offers the students a chance to retain a high level of activity throughout the course regardless of if they attend classes or not. On the other hand, it is comparatively difficult to apply online tools and computerized educational methods to calculation exercises, as the direct contact to an instructor and the ability to train or grade the solution approach rather than just the final answers is crucial for the proper follow-up on learning outcomes.
The authors assess the advantages and drawbacks of digital calculation exercises and suggest a specific method for designing such, where understanding the solution procedure and the self-learning approach are optimized. The practical implementation of such exercises in the field of energy engineering and their impact on effective learning is examined by observations on student performance and by analyzing feedback from students, through comparison with traditional paper-based exercise tests both among different student batches and within a certain student group.