Course evaluations – Electives Quartile 1

Below you can find the courses taught in quartile 1.

 

 

7T8X0
Architecture and Technology

 

2018-2019

General

In general the course got positive feedback.

The tutorials gave enough opportunities to ask questions about your design and the tutors were eager to help.

Looking at other firms gave a lot of inspiration for your own design which you normally would not immediately think of.

The teachers and student assistants all got good responses from the students.

The study guide was clear and the communication went well most of the time. Most communication was via the announcements in canvas but all students always look here so some of them missed information. There is a way to get announcements in your e-mail, so this could be explained in the first lecture for example. 

Possible problems

There is a big difference between bachelors and pre-masters. Pre-masters had an easier time designing there building and where able to communicate better with the tutors. Pre-masters focus more on links between details and bachelors on creating details.

During lectures it is hard to satisfy both groups, that is why there are online lectures. Students can look up things they need to know, but it is up to them to actually do this. It will be best if there is a file with information concerning the entire course on canvas from the beginning. This way everybody always has access to it when they need it.

To let the students know these online lectures exist there should be an announcement in the first lecture.

There were a lot of details which needed to be learned, but none of these made it in the exam this time. It depends on what kind of detail the teachers decide to put in the exam.

From all of the details in the reader there were some which had some problems:

  • Bekkering Adams had unclear details, since a lot was going on here.
  • HHF was missing description which most details, these were most likely cut off from the picture.

Sometimes the tutors where contradicting each other which was quite confusing for some students. However this is also an academic skill which students need to learn to handle. The tutors where put in couples in such a way that they had combined conceptual and detailing knowledge.

Lectures/project

During the entire course there where two hours of lectures each week. Mostly by the teachers themselves. There were also some guest lectures by the architecture firms we had to use for our project. The guest lectures where very interesting and useful to understand the firms better.

The other 4 hours each week were for the project tutoring. Here the students worked in couples and had the opportunity to ask questions to the teachers about their design. However it was quite unclear sometimes what had to be handed in final report.

Examination

There was a midterm in week 3 of the course, the progress of the students had to be handed in here.

In the end of the course the final report had to be handed and there was an exam during the finals week. Some students thought the exam was too long but on average student where fine with the length.

Workload

On average the students needed a bit more than 140 hours to complete this course.

The workload is a bit higher in the beginning of the course. This means there will be quite a lot of work during the first part of the course. However this is done on purpose, by letting the students hand in as much as possible as soon as possible, they will get more feedback and know better how to proceed during the second part.

2017-2018

General

The course has a really nice assignment with an enthusiastic teacher (Jan Schevers). The project is coordinated by Jan Schevers but many other tutors help him during tutoring hours to give feedback on the assignment. However, not all of these tutors have a high English level so they prefer to speak in Dutch. This gives foreigners the feeling they are left out and they cannot join conservations easily. The teacher said to this, that it is hard for some tutors to speak English because they already teach everything for so many years in Dutch and that there are simply not enough English speaking tutors to solve this problem. Also the study guide can use some improvement. Last year, there was no study guide and this problem was mentioned during the feedback meeting and Jan Schevers said that he would make a study guide for next year. However, this is still not done due to many other tasks that he had to do and this had no priority in improving the course. For next year, there will be made a study guide with the most important information.

Lectures/project

The project and lectures are supported by a reader which included four interviews with the firms. These interviews really help you to improve the understanding of the firms and your own project. However, there are still some Dutch texts in the reader (which are not needed to read for the exam, but only help your for more clarification and pleasure reading). Last year, this was already mentioned and said that it would be translated before the course of this year. However, this is still not done simply just due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to translate everything. Due to the variety of tutors, the student receive many different opinions and this has both a positive as negative side. It is positive that you look at your own project critical from different angles, but it is also negative because you make many changes to the design to satisfy all tutors. For the tutoring session, there was no clear scheme but student were sitting most of the time at the same table every week and the tutors tried to divide their attention every week to another part of the floor. However, the division of time per duo was still not equally distributed. To solve this for next year, on Wednesday there can be made a time and tutor scheme. So each week, a duo has a meeting with a different tutor to still imply that element of receiving many different opinions. On Monday, the students could go to a specific tutor and ask their questions for a problem.  The essential of the lectures was not always really clear. There was a division of ‘basic knowledge’ for the exam and some tips for the personal project. However, it is hard to make these lectures interesting for both bachelor and premaster students because they want to learn different things.

Examination

This year, the exam of last year was online and it was nice to have an idea of how the exam was going to look like. There was only a general point division mentioned at the beginning of the exam and not the amount of points per question. It was not easy to find when the resit is. This was due to a miscommunication. For next year, this information will be found in the study guide. 

Workload

The delay of the deadline for the project for two weeks is a positive improvement for the course. However, some student had time stress to both study for the exam and finish the project. For next year, there is an option that the exam will become an intermediate exam and that the deadline of the project will be still at the end of the exam period. If this would become the setup of the course for next year, the correction time in-between the deadline and receiving the marks would also become much shorter.

2016 - 2017

General

The course was generally looked on in a positive light by students and given an average grade of 7. Strengths included the coherency and well thought-out course material.

Study Guide

The study guide was not considered sufficient. Although all necessary information was provided, this was done predominantly in the first lecture slides, which complicated things for students when they wanted to find this information quickly. A single document should be compiled containing the following: course name, course code, department providing the course, number of ects, planning, target group (elective etc), responsible lecturer, co-lecturers, information of the lecturer, types of examinations, planning of examination, type of education, prior knowledge, other registration requirements, follow-up courses, learning objectives, course material, course guide, course evaluation and video material. This will be worked on for the coming year.

Study Material

The study materials were considered to be of quite high quality. The interviews in the reader added a depth to the course and were considered an interesting addition. Some parts of the reader were hard to follow due to grammar mistakes and should be reviewed once more. This was explained as being due to the use of a number of writers and editors, but is not of large concern as this will be looked over and edited once more before the upcoming year. Particular parts of the reader were also in Dutch. These were usually the additional articles/publications. These should either be translated to English so that all students may benefit from them, or removed from the reader, so as not to introduce discriminatory advantages. This was understood by the professor and said to be elaborative rather than necessary, but will be looked into for the coming year.

Coaching

The coaching was considered somewhat inconsistent and unstructured. Students were unsure exactly when and from who they would receive feedback from within the four hour sessions. This made is difficult to prepare for the feedback. In addition the subjective nature of the course meant that in speaking to a variety of teachers, the student’s designs were often guided into an array of contrasting directions, which cost students quite a significant amount of time in their process. Perhaps a rubric provided for teachers and students could establish a level of consistency here, and a more structured approach to providing coaching. Example design rubrics from project courses will be sent to the responsible lecturer to give them ideas on how to structure this. A proposal to split the group into smaller groups each with one coach/tutor was made to address this, but would be seen to take away student’s possibility to learn from a wide range of expertise. A schedule was then suggested to ensure that tutors don’t speak to any one duo for elongated periods of time, and students can wait less time when they have a question. All teachers were seen as enthusiastic and capable in their coaching, and the range of expertise of these coaches was seen as an asset to the course. The use of exclusively English by Hajo Schilperoort was considered a leading example. This made international students feel welcome in the course and prepared Dutch students for when it may be necessary to speak English (foreign professors in the future etc). Coaches were also seen to have a genuine interest in the student’s work and Jan Schevers took additional time to coach students outside of class time when considered necessary.

Lectures

Lectures were considered interesting and of good quality, but students struggled to draw a connection between them and the study materials. Suggestion was made to link lectures to relevant parts of the study material to provide a more coherent connection for students to follow. This year effort had been put in to link the lectures more to the assignment, and it seems that a balance is necessary. Discussion is held over the possibility of splitting the lectures into those relevant to the study material and the assignment itself.

Workload

The workload was considered from normal to very high. Although this is an area subject to the work ethic of individuals, the amount of final products demanded by the course was considered quite high. Professors realised that students were spending a lot of time on areas that were not important, and it was said that students should refine the way they working to help handle the workload. Next year a clear distinction will be made between work that needs to be handed in, and that which is just recommended process work. The misinterpretation of this seemed to be a source of student stress.

Assignment and examination

This was consistent and clear. Professors were easily contactable and responsive to emails and other questions.

Communication

Students sometimes struggled to understand what made an assignment strong/weak, and this in turn made it difficult for them to know how to improve their work. A rubric, as discussed earlier, may be a potential solution to this. The connection between weekly assignments and the final assignment meant that this was considered constructive, students gained understanding for their final assignment from this work. The examination was considered fair, but a number of students did not have enough time to complete it. The provision of a practice or example exam would be a real strength in the course, as students struggled to prepare without knowing what kind of questions would be asked, or the level of detail required. The reason behind the lack of a practice exam was that this was the first year that the course was in English, and the format of exam questions had been altered since last year, and may have been misleading for students. Some emphasis was drawn during lectures on what students should focus on for the examination. Professors noticed students struggling with the detailing aspect of the course and this was linked to the way in which this is learned in previous courses. The strengthened communication between these courses may be a solution and enable some continuity and better understanding of students in this area.

2015 - 2016

General

This is the first Bachelor course that learns students how to actually build architectural concepts. Therefore students indicated that they found the subject really interesting and useful. There were some difficult passages in book and reader that were not explained during the lectures. The lecturers are considering to implement this content in the new lectures.

Communication

The teachers of the course will try to improve the communication to students. There will be a clear and complete study guide on Oase next year. Also there will be an introductionary lecture at the start of the course to explain what is expected of students during the course.

Coaching

Students appreciated the feedback from the coaches that all have different disciplinary backgrounds. The different backgrounds, however, also led to contradictory feedback. Students did not know in advance which coach would grade their work. To prevent confusion and unexpected grades, teachers of this course are considering to assign a coach to every group of students for one assignment. This coach will then tutor and grade the work. Students will still have the possibility to ask questions to coaches from other disciplines.

Workload

The workload of this course was too high. The teachers will try to reduce the workload next year by reducing the size of the assignments or reducing the amount of exam material.

7W7X0
Urban Planning
2018-2019

General

In general Urban Planning is experienced as a nice course where the students learned a lot. The course material was interesting which motivated students to learn. The number of articles was experienced as quite high and some students struggled with that. The final exam on the computer was experienced positive, only the organization just before the exam was not experienced as pleasant.

Lectures/project

The lectures were judge really well, both the content and the structure. The lecture slides had a clear setup and the course was well organized. The content of the lectures gave a broad view on urban planning and many relevant topics were addressed. Real-life problems were addressed, which motivated students to learn more about the spatial environment. Points which some students missed were the spatial policies and the urban planning of other countries. A more international view on the subject would be more interesting for some.

Examination

Generally, the students had a good experience with the final exam, which was made on the computer. One remark that was mentioned considering the content of the exam, was that too many facts were asked. The questions were too detailed about the material and not about the insight into urban planning in general. The first midterm assignment was experienced as an assignment that contributed much to the knowledge about spatial planning and it fitted well in the content of the course. The second midterm assignment was more seen as a professional skills assignment than a course-related assignment. Therefore, the note was made to make the second assignment into a professional skills assignment or make it more course related. 

Workload

The workload of the course was overall well divided. Most students spend the appropriate amount of time on the course in relation with the ECTS points. However, the amount of literature was experienced as a lot. The number of articles was experienced as quite high, which did not motivate some students to study the articles.

2017-2018

General

All the information comes from Amber, who attended the course herself, and the two people who filled in the survey. Last year, the outcome of the survey was a 6,5. This year the outcome is a 7.

Studyguide

The studyguide was clear and everything what needed was in the studyguide. It was evaluated with a clear till very clear.

study materials

In contrast with last year the teacher told us at the beginning of the year that the study material can’t be bundled to one reader. It is understandable that you don’t want to pay a huge amount of money to combine the articles. She would love to make a bundle but that is financially not achievable. Furthermore the study material is very much different articles and sometimes part are not that relevant for the subject. Through the different articles there is sometimes not a good connection to the lecture that is given. Just like last year students think there is a lack of cohesion between the articles. The teacher said that she did this on purpose so you learn to pick up information from different kind of articles.

Lectures

The quality and quantity is evaluated as good. The different aspects of urban planning gives a clear structure to the course. The different lectures from different lecturer was experienced a fine. Every aspect was explained and experienced through a different lecturer, through this variation you remain alert and it stays fascinated. Last year there was critic on the plan presentations during the lecture. The plan presentations are changed, right now not everybody has to present, but 2 or 3 students have to be. There is still much depth in the story and that is hard to be explained well in a short presentation.  So the option to expand the slide from 5 to 6 is still a good solution to take into account. The teacher said that she will look at in one more time. There is on option to split up in 2 lecture on 2 different days.

Communication

The communication between the teacher and students is perfect. Through canvas or mail the teacher reacts very fast and gives a good answer of your question.

Workload

Reading all the kind of articles take a lot of time. But in combination with only 4 hour lectures every week it is doable for the students.

Examination

The different kind of tests are explained every well and each student knows what to do. Also the students think the kind of examination/tests is usefull for the course. It is a combination were you already read the articles for you exam and immediately through the test review create a sort of thought of the aspect that you have to evaluate. From the evaluation of last year we can concluded that the second test is sort of new. The peer review is left away, she didn’t so any purpose in it. So the second test is extended with one article.  It is a very good replaced of the peer review. As said through reading the articles for your test you get a more realistic and additional thought about the subject. And is immediately a good preparation for the exam. One student thought that there were some vague question during the exam about the subject. The practice questions on canvas gave an indication what we could expect on the exam. For the first time there was a digital exam. It was very nice. You could answer the open question really easy and when you did something wrong you could it erase very well. It is more structured and you can give your answers more flexible.

2016 - 2017

Study Guide

The studyguide was complete and clear. It was evaluated sufficient to good.

Study Material

Due to new regulations, the study materials can’t be bundled to one reader anymore. That’s why the students had to read all kinds of individual articles. The teacher says it is indeed unhandy, but there is just no way she is going to pay a huge amount of money to combine all the articles into one booklet. According to the students, this mess of articles was a big contradiction with the very clear study guide. The answer of the teacher was that the students have to adapt to this system slowly. The students also thought there was a lack of consistency/cohesion between the articles. This could be explained by the fact that the teacher selected a lot of different kinds of articles and sources by purpose, to show different kind or sources usable for Urban Planning analyse and investigations. The teacher says that during the lectures, it is made clear which parts of the articles are important to read. She proposes that she will make it even more clear for next year.

Lectures

The lectures were very good and clear. However the plan presentations lacked depth.A more in-depth story should be realized by the reports that the students hand in as addition next to their presentations, says the teacher. That is because last year, there was in fact too much depth in the plan presentations. The teacher prefers the shorter presentations in combination with the reports. Although, this made it more difficult for the students to judge each other’s work. Most of the time, the presentations were very theoretical instead of explaining the actual plan. This is something that could be better arranged next year. An option is to expand the amount of slides from 5 to 6, so the plans could be explained in 2 slides, giving more depth.

Communication

Overall, the communication was very clear. It was good that there was an explanation about Peach. Next year, the teacher will use Canvas, which is a lot more user friendly for the teachers.

Workload

The reading of the articles took a lot of time compared to the lectures. The teacher thinks it is important that the students get used to reading literature and that they make this something of their own. That explains the different kind of sources she selected as well. If you compare the workload that 5 ECTS stand for with the workload of this course, the teacher thinks it’s quite fair. Besides, there are sheets online, which are really helpful when reading the articles. This is doable for students.

Examination

Some student thought the deadline for the reviews was unfair, because the lecture about some subject was not yet given. All the information for this was already put online. Due to a change in availability of one of the teacher, the subject was placed to the end of the quartile, therefor the subject was not yet given. This will be different next year. Everybody agrees that the peer reviews are unnecessary and don’t have to be given next year, although it is really interesting to see how other students interpreted the assignment. A positive aspect of the peer reviews grades where the comments by the grade lower than a 10. A better option instead of the peer reviews is an extra midterm examination about one or two subjects for which students need to study the articles. This way a more realistic view and preparation for the final exam is given. The teacher says that that was not the goal of the midterms of this year. What also plays a role in this, is that the teachers only have a limited set of questions that they could ask during an exam. She will look next year, if there is some way in Canvas to provide students with extra practice questions. The relatively easy midterm exams created low expectations with the students for the final examination. In the end, about 60% of the students passed this course.

2015 - 2016

General

The Urban Planning course is again well rated by students. The study guide was complete and concise and the communications from teachers were good.

Study material

The quality of the study material was good. However students thought there was too little coherence between the different articles originating from different sources and written in either English or Dutch. With the new English Bachelor program all sources will be in English next  year. The teachers will keep providing articles from different sources since students need to learn to not rely on only one source.

A printed version of the reader will not be available because of the constantly changing literature.

Workload

The success rate of Urban Planning is probably affected by the workload other courses given in this quartile.

7GC20
Design project on smart mobility

 

This course has not been evaluated yet

7P0X0
Steel Structures and Applied Mechanics
2018-2019

General

Students found the course very relevant. The studyguide was not very elaborated, but almost everything was in there. Only the weights of the grades regarding the final grade of the course were missing. Next year it would be an option to mention in the studyguide that these can be found in Osiris, such that no misconceptions can occur.

The course materials and the usage of Canvas were clear. 

Lectures/project

The teachers were enthusiastic when teaching this course. The Applied Mechanics part was graded better than the Steel Structures part, this is a common phenomenon and is likely because of time, (steel was lectured in the last two hours), but also because of consistency. (steel had more diverse subjects and was lectured by more than one teacher) The students were helped with practicing the exercises on the blackboard by the teacher. For the Steel Structures part this can maybe also be implemented such that it is more clear for the students and it won’t go too fast. An improvement relative to last year was that some small things were extra explained with usage of the blackboard. Also for the Connections part the lectures were less clear, because it went too fast because of time shortage.

It would therefore be better if the lectures were recorded, such that students can watch them back to better understand the calculations. Blackboard drawings, which are an important part during lectures, can be seen afterwards as well.

Students were more present at the Applied Mechanics part instead of the Steel Structures part. It would therefore be better to switch those two on Thursday afternoon

Examination

The experience of the midterm was good. There was also an example of a midterm which helped the students to prepare for it. For the final exam there was no practice exam, but it would be better to have at least one uploaded on Canvas. Then students also had known that there were no theory questions in the exam and only calculations. Students also wish to have an example of a formula sheet and to add the amount of points you can score per question in the exam. Another thing was that most of the students experienced that the exam was too long for the amount of time we got. 

Workload

The workload was fine. This was also spread very evenly during the quartile.

2017-2018

General

The study guide of the course was not really elaborate, but all the information needed could be found in it, only the locations of the interim test were unclear, especially the location of the 2nd interim test, which was announced 1 hour before the beginning of the test. This was mainly because of the fact that the Matrix building was closed for renovation. Apart from the communication of the location of this test, the communication was good, except that there was no email sent that the second part of the steel lecture notes were available at the reception. The lecture notes of steel were expensive compared to the applied mechanics lecture notes (€75 vs. freely available on Canvas) 

Lectures

The mechanics lectures were good, there was a pleasant variety between theory and worked out exercises. Unfortunately the syllabus and the lectures were at some points not coherent in the method of solving an exercise. The lectures of the steel part were useful as well, but sometimes there was a lack of context, making the understanding of the subject matter somewhat difficult. The level of spoken English was sufficient enough to understand the content of the lecture, although one teacher gave her lectures in Dutch (this was however with the uniform approval of the students)

Examination

Overall both the interim exam and the final exam did not have many surprises, although the final exam was a bit long. 

Workload

Overall really good manageable, but planning of the 2nd interim test was unfavourable with regards to the multidisciplinary project. It would be more convenient to switch this test to the end of week 6.

Course specific points

It would be nice to have more coherence between the steel and the applied mechanics part of the course. There is an overlap between the two parts of the course, but it would be more convenient to show this more often in the lectures, so that the students learn how to use the knowledge of applied mechanics in steel structures and vice-versa.

2016 - 2017

General

This course was perceived as very good and structured. Because of the good mix in steel versus mechanical focussed lectures, the course was very versatile and interesting to attend. The three lecture followers that evaluated Steel Structures and Applied Mechanics graded it therefore with a 8,6.

Study Guide

The study guide was rated sufficient. It is nice that there is a schedule in which per lecture is stated what you have to prepare and what you have to learn afterwards.

Study Materials

The study materials are very good. Both the reader for mechanics and the book for steel are very structured and clear and contain a large number of examples, which is really nice while studying.

Lectures

The lectures in general were fine. The quality of Mr. Janssen’s lectures was high as always, but also Mr. Snijder’s and Ms. Van Hove’s lectures were considered good.

Examination

If students prepare well for the interim and final exams, they are good to pass. However, students said that the level of difficulty was a lot higher in the final exam compared to the interim exams. Especially the part about ‘kip’ was not expected to appear in the exam, because there was not much explanation about it during the lectures.

7HK40
Liberation of Light – project

 

This course has not been evaluated yet.

7XEUA0
USE Design for a Sustainable Future -Exploratory
2018-2019

General

The course USE design for a sustainable future is currently changing a lot. They are looking together with experts on how to give this course in the best way. One of the changes they recently introduced is making it an online course. The idea is that students can gain their knowledge at home, while watching videos or reading documents and during the lectures have some discussions about these topics.
The learning line USE design for a sustainable future is offered by the Built environment. A lot of built environment students therefore choose this use learning line. Most students assumed it would have a focus on or is relation to the built environment. However, this course is mainly focussed on sustainability and critical thinking, and has no relation to the built environment. Since most students assumed otherwise, this led to some disappointments. 

Lectures/project

Lectures were not scheduled every week, and were sometimes filled with discussions and sometimes with a lecture. For students it was a bit unclear when a lecture was given, when there was a chance for discussion and when nothing was scheduled. This resulted in only a few students attending the lectures.
A possible solution to this problem is to make it very clear when a lecture is given, when there is chance for discussion and when nothing is scheduled. This can be done in the reader for example. Information about the lectures was now given through announcements or messages in canvas, but the risk of this is that students do not check it (on time). In the reader students can already see it weeks on beforehand, and take it into account.
Another solution could be that the first hour is filled with a lecture, and after a small break the students are invited for a discussion. In this way the students know what awaits them if they join the discussion and they can decide for themselves whether they want to stay or not.
Another problem that occurred with the lectures was that during discussions only the first and second rows were participating. Lecture halls are not the best place to have a discussion, since rows at the top cannot always hear the first rows speaking and the other way around. Smaller rooms with fewer people could be more inviting for students to join the discussion.

Besides lectures, a project had to be made in groups of four students. Overall, students liked the fact that they could choose the groups themselves. Some deadlines were set during the quartile for groups to upload the report so far. Before the final deadline, students had to peer review each other. The students were very happy that they had the chance to give feedback to each other. For some students however, it was unclear who had to peer review who and how to contact these groups. During the course evaluation the idea came up to give every group a team captain, whose name and email address is shown on canvas. In this way, groups know who to contact. Also a table could be added on canvas indicating which group should peer review who. Confusion can hopefully be prevented in this way.
The mark of the final exam was known very fast, which was pleasant for the students. The mark of the report however, took a lot of weeks. When the marks were known, no feedback was given. Till this moment on, still no feedback is given. The feedback is coming, but due to the lack of teachers and student assistants this takes a lot of time. Also some students would have liked more feedback on their report during the quartile. The only feedback received now, was the feedback of fellow students during the peer review. To accomplish this, more student assistant would be required, according to the teacher.

Examination

The examination in this course is existing of a report which counts for 45% and a final exam which counts for 55%.
During the quartile, different modules with study material were presented on canvas. In the beginning, only module 1 was accessible and the rest was closed. The students could access the next module, by completing an online test of the previous module. The numbers however, showed that a lot of students did not finish the online tests and therefore did not gain access to the next modules. For some students this might have resulted in working on the project without study material. Also, most students only started learning the modules before the exam, because no deadlines were set on completing the modules.
During the course evaluation, we discussed whether the modules should be opened from the start, giving students the possibility to work on topics whenever suited, or whether the online test should be marked, forcing students to work with the study material already during the quartile. A possible compromise would be to only set one or two deadlines during the quartile, to stimulate students to work on the modules, but not forcing them to make an online test before every module. 

Workload

The workload experienced by the students was lower than in other courses. This is also due to the fact that most students did not work on the modules during the quartile, and did all the learning before the exam. A possible solution to this problem is to increase the workload of the modules during the quartile. Also the workload on the report could be increased, to reach more hours spend on this course.

2017-2018

General

The outcome of the survey about this course had mixed results, some good and some bad points. The studyguide was considered good, and more complete than last year. The level of English was also considered good. Some points of improvement are especially in the contents of the lectures, and the connection of these to the final examination, and the organisation of the files and assignments of the course. 

Lectures/project

The lectures for this course were seen as sufficient by students. They gave some context about the concept and definition of sustainability. However, some students said that they did not find the lectures very interesting, since there were very diverse topics. They also found that the concept of sustainability was hardly mentioned during the course, and especially in the final exam. The teacher said that this could be because there is an incorrect definition about sustainability and the course among students. Many of them think that this course will address design in a sustainable way, and that it is more technical. This could be made clearer at the beginning of the course, or before choosing, by giving a different description of the course. The teacher stated as well that they did not have a clear direction for this course yet, since it is relatively ‘young’, but this is a big improvement compared to last year. A last comment by students said that there was not enough connection between the lectures and the study materials, especially for the final exam. Only two hours of lectures were given about the majority of the study material. The teacher said that this was because of the co-lecturer of the course, reducing his involvement due to time pressure. He was the one responsible for the reader, and could only give this many lectures. There were also some tutoring sessions for the essay assignment. The quantity and quality of these sessions was overall seen as sufficient. They did help quite a bit in defining and explaining the precise essay assignment. There were some students though, who did not need these sessions and did not attend them, so it was a useful addition for students who did not understand the assignment. The level of english was experienced as sufficient to good. 

Examination

For the interim examination, the study materials were clearly explained. This examination was very theoretical and quite reproductive, which was not experienced as positive by all students. Some more understanding and insight questions could be an improvement. However, this was not the case with the final examination, these questions were much more insightful than reproductive. There were some other comments about the final examinations though. Students found that the load for the final exam was quite high, especially compared to the rest of the course. There was a lot of reading to do, and this was not covered much in the lectures, so the material was new. There was an imbalance between the distribution and quantity of the lectures about the study material and the importance of the subjects on the exam itself. This could be a point of improvement for next year. However, compared to last year, the interim test has been improved a lot. Last year, there was much temptation for students to cheat on this examination, due to the format in which the test was taken. This was on computers in a lecture hall, which made the possibility of cheating quite high. Switching to an examination on paper has made quite a difference this year. Furthermore, there were some comments about the explanation of the essay assignment. There was no good overview of the assignment, and you had to look in many different places to put the whole exact assignment together. The tutoring sessions did contribute to making it clearer. This shortage of assignment explanation is also strongly related to the organisation and communication of the course. 

Communication

There were many comments about the communication and organisation of this course. Most students found that the communication was a bit excessive. Many (in the students’ opinion) unnecessary e-mails were sent, which made it difficult to find e-mails that contained important information, for example about the essay assignment. This was also related to the system used, Canvas. The teacher did not know that the announcements made on Canvas, arrive as e-mails to the students. Another problem that occured, related to Canvas, is that the explanation of the examinations were spread about different sections in the website, which made it difficult to find everything together. This could perhaps be put more extensive in the studyguide, if it is all known beforehand for the teachers. Students were positive about the speed and quality of replies sent in response to their questions. 

Workload

The workload for this course was not experienced as very high during the lecture weeks. However, the workload increased much before the final examination, since there was a lot of study material to read and study.

2016 - 2017

General

The course has mixed results in terms of good and bad points. The students found it enjoyable and the level of English was high. He continues to talk about areas of potential improvement, the most significant being cheating on the intermediate exam. Results of the survey are shown and talked through. The study guide, quality of materials and lectures were considered fine. Some students felt as though they could have benefitted from more lectures. Communication was clear and the workload was experienced as relatively low to normal. Students also felt that the assignment explanation was vague, and that the essay should be introduced earlier, and made clearer from the start what is expected of students. 

New Format

The professors then discussed the reason for some of the deficiencies and possible solutions. It was made clear that the course has been given a completely new format since last year, and this is in large contrast with previous years. The format and criteria will continue to be developed. Since the feedback from last year, the workload and level of difficulty has increased and is expected to continue this increase into the upcoming year. The course content and scope is strong but it is preferred that students consider this course as challenging and important as their other courses. A brainstorm session with students was used to receive direct feedback last year, and the results were a better connected essay relevance and more interaction in lectures. The final exam was made tougher and a more normal pass rate was seen from students, so this was considered successful.

Essay

Guidance was offered in relation to the essay assignment giving students the opportunity to ask questions, but very few students made use of this opportunity. Some students said that this was because it took place too early on in the process – three weeks before the deadline – and they had not yet begun writing. Perhaps later scheduling of this would be of benefit. It was also noted that the vagueness of the essay is in a sense intentional as developing this understanding is an important aspect of the course. The essay is a more holistic, complex and in depth demonstration of the students understanding, so this format will be continued. To help students clearer comprehend how to write a strong essay, either tutoring or past-examples can be used. With the large group size, past-examples is more convenient. This means that examples can be shown from previous years and perhaps also evaluated by the students themselves. Allowing implicit recognition of good essays without prior knowledge. It remains the case that students should be pulled out of their comfort zone in this course, and making them define their own essay questions is a way in which this is done. As the conceptualisation stage can be seen as the most challenging. A second opinion in grading may also be progressive.

Cheating

Some students felt as though their intermediate exam grade was not an accurate reflection of their knowledge in the course, instead being much higher. This coupled with the temptation experienced by students to cheat on the intermediate test implies an area of potential improvement. A reference example is given by Robert of the use of communication blockers during computer/screen testing (as with the intermediate test). Though this addresses the issue of communication, it does not make it harder for students to look at each other’s screens. The professors are aware of the problem of cheating within the intermediate test, but face practical difficulty in changing this. The university does not offer any support in the arrangement of intermediate exams so often rooms are unsuitable and there are no additional available invigilators. It is proposed that reducing the weighting of the intermediate test in the overall grading could be a tactic against the cheating, as the test’s function is more to familiarise students with the material and testing format, as well as gain an understanding of their abilities and progress. The use of multiple choice is recognised as being an enabling format for the cheating, but will not be changed as it serves a role in students early development of solution strategies and their understanding of the testing format. The treatment of students will be as young-professionals, not school pupils – those who choose to cheat will not benefit from the course. The use of traditional hard-copy paper tests may also become a solution. The use of two timeslots instead of one next year may be a way to address the perceived shortage of lectures and provide more opportunities to students to ask questions about the assignment. The Professors are pleased to hear some feedback and Robert and Kim look forward to seeing the improvements when they follow the course next year.