P. Saarenrinne

Tampere University of Technology (FINLAND)
Today teaching in measurement courses in thermal engineering includes lectures, video lectures, guided problem solution exercises, literature review and laboratory exercises. This multidisciplinary teaching approach gives many benefits compared to the traditional lecturing. In this paper is described the experiences gained from a course in which all the disciplines are included. The aim is to investigate the student learning habits and experience in the context of an example case. In this course a relative simple theory of heat conduction is explained in lectures, in exercises and finally in a laboratory exercise. The same problem is a problem in the exam. The target is to find out how the students have learned this type of problem solving skills, in theory and in praxis at the laboratory. This problem setup provides the possibility to evaluate how different learning styles owing students learn the current subject. The student experiences are evaluated with a questionnaire, which is now made twice among two different exam participants. This type of questionnaires can be used to find out the weaknesses of the curriculum.

The objectives of the conducted questionnaire were: 1) Evaluate the different disciplines value for learning in eyes of the students, 2) Evaluate how different topics were acquired through these disciplines. The evaluation is made by comparing the exam results to the questionnaire's results. The exam problems were targeted to enable the combination of course topic and teaching method. The exam results were then divided according to the different course topics. In the questionnaire were 11 questions of which first seven were considering the value of the disciplines to the course and the last three were considering the laboratory exercise.

The results show that a 25 percent of the students don’t take part to the lectures, they prefer to use the video lectures. Most students take the lectures and don’t use the video lectures. The taking part to the lectures and exercises gives a strong correlation to success in the exam considering this particular lumped parameter problem. The students experience the laboratory exercise very useful even when it requires minimum effort from them. The whole exercise is worked out in two hours. The results support the praxis of providing many different ways to learn the subject. This survey points out the need to change the viewpoint to the teaching. The involvement of the students should be increased.