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FEM basics, Autumn 2010, VSM167, VSM167

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2010-12-18 - 2011-01-09
Antal svar: 46
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 45%
Kontaktperson: Håkan Johansson»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Väg- och vattenbyggnad 300 hp
Utbildningsprogram studenten tillhör: Väg- och vattenbyggnad 300 hp

Your own effort

1. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

45 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»1 2%
Around 20 hours/week»5 11%
Around 25 hours/week»15 33%
Around 30 hours/week»12 26%
At least 35 hours/week»12 26%

Genomsnitt: 3.64

- I studied in the last week because I was concentrating more on other course.» (?)
- Most of the time on the projects» (Around 25 hours/week)
- Lots of those hours went to the project work.» (Around 25 hours/week)
- The time spent on this course well exceed what that 20-25 hours/week that is assumed to be standard. The main factor for this is the different projects. The problem is to know when you are finished with the projects because you aren"t sure about what is needed to pass and what the results shall be. » (Around 30 hours/week)
- This course needed so much time that the other course (Heat & Moisture Engineering) had to be "neglected", although it was included in project 2. » (At least 35 hours/week)
- the project costs me a lot of time» (At least 35 hours/week)
- Quite heavy workload, especially when one is new at matlab.» (At least 35 hours/week)

2. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

46 svarande

0%»0 0%
25%»0 0%
50%»4 8%
75%»17 36%
100%»25 54%

Genomsnitt: 4.45

- I attended all lectures that I could, but not all computer labs.» (75%)
- Did not participated on all computer labs» (75%)
- Between 75 and 100 %» (75%)
- Close to 100%» (100%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

3. To what extent did your reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to define basic constituents defining a boundary value problem in terms of a differential equation, data and boundary conditions.

46 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»1 2%
40-60%»5 10%
60-80%»22 47%
80-100%»18 39%

Genomsnitt: 4.23

4. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to apply the basic theory of the finite element method as a numerical method to solve (partial) differential equations, including deriving a weak formulation and constructing suitable approximating functions.

46 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»0 0%
40-60%»5 10%
60-80%»19 41%
80-100%»22 47%

Genomsnitt: 4.36

5. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to identify and separate the physical modelling (balance laws, material properties, loads and boundary conditions) as compared to the discretization (numerical solution, e.g. FEM).

45 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»3 6%
40-60%»8 17%
60-80%»20 44%
80-100%»14 31%

Genomsnitt: 4

6. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to define the modelling steps in the mathematical modelling of stationary and transient linear heat flow and static linear elasticity.

45 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»3 6%
40-60%»12 26%
60-80%»17 37%
80-100%»13 28%

Genomsnitt: 3.88

- stationary heat flow is ok, transient not so good» (40-60%)

7. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to apply the finite element method to problems of stationary and transient heat flow and liner static elasticity in one, two and three spatial dimensions.

44 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
25%»1 2%
40-60%»15 34%
60-80%»20 45%
80-100%»8 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.79

- For one dimentional problems, it"s Ok, but it"s much harder for two and three dimensions.» (60-80%)

8. How understandable are the course goals?

45 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»5 11%
The goals are difficult to understand»4 8%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»14 31%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»22 48%

Genomsnitt: 3.17

9. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

42 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»30 71%
No, the goals are set too high»12 28%

Genomsnitt: 2.28

- Goals are good but difficult to achieve in terms of hours spent understanding each aspect of them.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Maybe at the beginning of the course, we should know what are the goals clearly.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- The time given for commertial software introduction is short.In my opion it should have a longer time for that in order the goal of this course to be more clear.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- The coals was reasonable considering my background, but we had to spend too much time with this course, so 7.5 credit is to less for the time we spent. » (No, the goals are set too high)
- so some extent since there is a lot of writing in lectures and it is difficult to write and understand the notes at the same time.» (No, the goals are set too high)

10. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

The examinations consists of the project reports as well as the written exam

43 svarande

No, not at all»1 2%
To some extent»12 27%
Yes, definitely»30 69%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 2.67

- But there was too much in exam from isoparametric stuff in the exam as compared to the time given to that part in lectures.» (Yes, definitely)
- The examination tested things outside of the goals (last question on why 1 gp provided insufficient solution)» (Yes, definitely)

Teaching and course administration

11. To what extent have the lectures been of help for your learning?

45 svarande

Small extent»4 8%
Some extent»13 28%
Large extent»22 48%
Great extent»6 13%

Genomsnitt: 2.66

- There was no way that I could take notes and understand the theory at the same time. Of course, reading the "lecture chapter" beforehand would"ve helped. The notes have been very helpful afterwards, though.» (Small extent)
- hard to follow. There should be "räknestugor"» (Small extent)
- They were not closely enough related to the projects.» (Small extent)
- I think that the learning outcome from lectures is greater if some reeding is performed before -hand, which I not did in a gret extent. » (Some extent)
- In my opinion, the lectures was to fast. The student can not take notes and listen to the lecturer at the same time as they try to understand what is been taught. There has to be a better way of teaching. For example by handing out the lectures-notes or by sticking so close to the material in the book that the book works as the lecture-notes.» (Some extent)
- The lectures have been really good, Håkan is a great teacher. » (Great extent)

12. To what extent have the exercices (including computer exercises) been of help for your learning?

45 svarande

Small extent»7 15%
Some extent»14 31%
Large extent»17 37%
Great extent»7 15%

Genomsnitt: 2.53

- There was no time to do exercises apart from the projects.» (Small extent)
- Too much time was spend on working with Matlab code instead of understanding the concept of FEM.» (Small extent)
- No help whatsoever from the computer exercises. I completely lack competence in handling the CALFEM package as there is a link missing in the teaching of theory and relating it to the functions in the Calfem package. This can be done better and should be done better.» (Some extent)
- The executrices weren"t that good, the teacher went trough the tasks really fast and you understood nothing. And the computer exercises were really bad, you didn"t get the help you needed, so it was pointless to go there. » (Some extent)
- the project took so much time that there was no time to sit and solve simple tasks on your own along the course. I felt like I learned most of the stuff when studying for the exam the last week.» (Some extent)

13. To what extent has the first project (one-dimensional problems) been of help for your learning?

45 svarande

Small extent»3 6%
Some extent»10 22%
Large extent»21 46%
Great extent»11 24%

Genomsnitt: 2.88

- I was only happy with the "analog part" i.e. the CALFEM stuff was of no help to my learning.» (Small extent)

14. To what extent has the second project (stationary and transient heat transfer) been of help for your learing?

45 svarande


Small extent»3 6%
Some extent»10 22%
Large extent»17 37%
Great extent»15 33%

Genomsnitt: 2.97

Fördelat på olika grupper:

I followed Heat and moisture engineering: (38 st)
Small extent2 5%
Some extent9 23%
Large extent14 36%
Great extent13 34%

Genomsnitt: 3

- In general the project descriptions were poor. There was no analysis of the results and as for the other projects: Too much time was spend on Matlab programming.» (Small extent)

I did not follow Heat and moisture engineering: (7 st)
Small extent1 14%
Some extent1 14%
Large extent3 42%
Great extent2 28%

Genomsnitt: 2.85

- Second project was not very interesting... and again, Calfem understanding very low, so the solutions were totally out of any scope of reality.» (Small extent)

15. To what extent has the third project (elastic analysis with initial strains) been of help for your learing?

45 svarande

Small extent»5 11%
Some extent»15 33%
Large extent»13 28%
Great extent»12 26%

Genomsnitt: 2.71

- Again, Calfem was just horrible. The rest I found hard as I lack the background of building engineering.» (Small extent)
- The first thing to say is that we had too less with time, the project was handed out the last week, why could you hand out the project before so we students can plan our study-time? Now we had to do this project, and hand it in as fast as possible, to get more than 2 days of studying for the exams. So next time, hand out the project earlier, or skip it!!» (Small extent)
- It was better than the first two projects but the project describtion was still not thorough enough.» (Some extent)
- There was too little time to do the project satisfactory.» (Some extent)
- Still not sure whether I solved it correctly» (Some extent)

16. To what extent has the computer lab (commercial software) been of help for your learning?

45 svarande

Small extent»23 51%
Some extent»17 37%
Large extent»4 8%
Great extent»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 1.62

- The abaqus class didn"t really give much in terms of learning to reach the goals of the course, but it was fun so it should definitly stay in the course!» (Small extent)
- Some small mistake rendered the solution in Abaqus useless, no time to fix it...» (Small extent)
- The comsol computer lab was somewhat of a failure with since an old version of the software was used.» (Small extent)
- The idea with a cpu-lab was ok. We now know that these programs exists. But we did not realy learned to use them. The introduction in the auditorium was unnecessary.» (Some extent)

17. How was the introduction to Matlab ?

Three sessions in the beginning of the course

44 svarande

Very poor»2 4%
Rahter poor»3 6%
Rahter good»8 18%
Very good»6 13%
I did not attend»25 56%

Genomsnitt: 4.11

- Not enough to make the projects» (Rahter poor)
- It was good that there were a Matlab session. It schould be more related to the projects and more focus schould be on making loops.» (Rahter poor)
- Its kind of you to offer that introduction. » (Rahter good)
- Maybe we need a simple manual for matlab for the students who are first time to use it.» (Rahter good)
- Good for basics but there was still a lot to learn.» (Rahter good)
- The sessions were really good. I had almost never used Matlab before.» (Very good)
- Rather is spelled "rather".» (I did not attend)

18. To what extent has the the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

45 svarande

Small extent»1 2%
Some extent»4 8%
Large extent»25 55%
Great extent»15 33%

Genomsnitt: 3.2

- The book was okay, but really messy. And why couldnt there be some checklists of how to solve different problems, now you had to jump from page to page in the book. » (Some extent)
- Only the course book, not the exercise book.» (Large extent)
- I only had item [1] on the course PM, and since little or no reference was made to the Calfem book I never looked at it. The exercises I found on the internet so I did not buy that book either.» (Large extent)
- I didn"t feel like if I had the time to read the litterature at the extend that I wanted because the project took to much time. I think that it would be better to remove the last project and use that time for rehearsing for the exam. That would make more student"s to pass the exam. » (Large extent)
- Used the book a lot. But the book is a little too expensive taking into account that it does not look at transient heat. And it was unacceptable that the bookstore did not have enough books for all students the first couple of weeks.» (Large extent)
- Has not used the exercise book» (Great extent)

19. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

45 svarande

Very badly»1 2%
Rather badly»3 6%
Rather well»22 48%
Very well»19 42%

Genomsnitt: 3.31

- Some Errata to the projects was a surprise.» (Rather well)
- Except from the handout of project 3, should had been handed out much earlier!» (Rather well)

Study climate

20. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

45 svarande

Very poor»2 4%
Rather poor»4 8%
Rather good»17 37%
Very good»21 46%
I did not seek help»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 3.33

- It was difficult to get help from 3 of the assistant teachers. They were never at the office and some did not seem very helpfull when asked. Nasim was great.» (Rather poor)
- The teachers have been very helpful when i have visited there offices for questions. I do however wish that there would have been more exercises where questions could have been asked. » (Rather good)
- The oppertunities were there but there were quite a few people that needed help. Perhaps a joint discussion when several people have the same problem would have speeded things along.» (Rather good)
- Håkan is awesome and very welcoming. I did not seek help from others as I never knew where to find them.» (Very good)

21. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

45 svarande

Very poorly»1 2%
Rather poorly»2 4%
Rather well»14 31%
Very well»28 62%
I did not seek cooperation»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.53

- Let"s just say that the workload in the group of two was unequally distributed...» (Rather poorly)

22. How was the course workload?

45 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»2 4%
High»25 55%
Too high»18 40%

Genomsnitt: 4.35

- It was high, but high is good! It was high enough to learn much about the subject, but not so high that you lose interest in it. In other words, high but adequatly high!» (High)
- As mentioned above, this course claimed full-time workload this period.» (Too high)
- I think we had to spend to much time for this course, you didn"t have time to study that much for Heat and Moisture. So I think this course, either should take away project 3 or be worth 10 credits. » (Too high)
- See comments above» (Too high)
- The projects have taken very long time to complete, however without gaining that much understanding for the subject.» (Too high)
- The project work took a lot of time. A LOT.» (Too high)

23. How was the total workload this study period?

45 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»6 13%
High»18 40%
Too high»21 46%

Genomsnitt: 4.33

- I only had one course.» (High)
- Other course had to suffer because of the amount of time that needed to be spend on the FEM course. Total workload was still high. » (High)
- My focus has been on this course, while heat and moisture has been neglected.» (Too high)
- It was way tohigh in this course but in the other course we had very little.» (Too high)

Summarizing questions

24. What is your general impression of the course?

45 svarande

Poor»2 4%
Fair»1 2%
Adequate»6 13%
Good»33 73%
Excellent»3 6%

Genomsnitt: 3.75

- I leard very much and think I will have use of this course later on, but the amount of time you put in this course is just too much» (Good)
- Better than I thought before.» (Good)
- Good course but to high workload. » (Good)
- The course requires very high knowledge in MATLAB, some parts were therefore harder to solve than necessary.» (Good)
- Very good in the end when everything comes together, however difficult in the beginning since our math is quite "rusty"» (Good)
- Very difficult and time consuming but also very rewarding.» (Excellent)

25. What is the remaining value of the course in the future

43 svarande

Very small»1 2%
Rather small»9 20%
Rahter high»23 53%
Very high»10 23%

Genomsnitt: 2.97

- Maybe more in between rather small and rather high.» (Rather small)
- Hard to say... It depends on what projects I will take on in the future. » (Rahter high)
- I"m not sure that I understand the question...» (Rahter high)
- Since I"m taking the course in FEM applications, this course has obviously high relevance.» (Very high)

26. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Hakån »
- The projects are really good for the understanding, and gives you a fair chance to pass the examination.»
- Mabye more computer exercises, and solved examples on the black board. »
- the project.»
- The projects were the most beneficial in "forcing" us to learn the topics. However, the time required to complete the projects was approaching unreasonable. »
- The projects.»
- Projects and the point system for the exam.»
- Projects are good, but the project PM"s were very messy with regard to the layout. I found it hard to get an overview of the project as a whole»
- The project work is good. Don"t change that. Maybe add another project and skip the exam part as the workload is very heavy during this period. Maybe do a individual project with derivations and programming, as an home-exam, with very limited time to finish it (a day or two). »
- The projects»
- The projects should be reserved and there should be more exercise.»
- The projects are good.»
- The projects»
- the o&p book was quite good»
- The projects are good help to understand the lectures.»
- Projects and excercises»
- Work together with a coworker »
- the book, matlab intro»
- The lectures were really good and well organized. »
- The projects!»
- The ability to collect extra points for the examination»
- Projects»
- Everything, just a bit less of it.»
- computer exercises»
- The projects!»
- The projects.»
- The three projects but reduce the extent of project three so ut can be made properly without interfering with the time to study to the exam»

27. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- The projects was really good for understanding, but maybe a bit to hard. »
- »
- example and answer should be added. I do more understand when I do exercise and then read again the text book to find the answer. And this is happened almost near to the final exam.»
- Less project work. Often we were required to stay late or skip Heat and Moisture lecture in order to finish the projects (in addition to always staying on campus 8-5 everyday to work on the project during free hours)»
- The projects were too time consuming. »
- I don"t know how, but the workload should be reduced, in some way.»
- Better Calfem introduction. More Abaqus-Comsol time, once is barely enough to do anything good.»
- Add more elasticity problems»
- The exam maybe.»
- Take away project 3.»
- The exam should be a littel be easier.»
- The last project. There is to little time to prepare for exam. »
- the price of the o&p book was very high»
- The last hand-in should not be so close to the exam. The work load should be reduced. Better copies of the answers to old exams, now half of the time was spend on trying to See what was written instead of trying to Understand it.»
- More help should be brought to the students who dont know how to use Matlab. It was really hard for the projects.»
- Better project describtions. Less matlab code. More analysis of the results. More exercises at the lectures. More relevant execrcises at the lectures. Easier examn. No project in examn periode.»
- If it is possible have more projects but shorter projects. In my opinion it would help alot.»
- the language»
- project three steals to much time from the exam-studies. too close to that date...»
- The projects were too hard. And give better corrections. We still dont know why we didn´,t get right resaults in project 2.»
- course load should be reviewed.»
- For example, futher explanations why the cross-section of the bridge was deformed in the way showned in MATLAB, which seemed wrong using common sence. »
- The workload in week 6 and 7 should be smaller. I did not take as mush part in The course in heat in moisture as I would have wanted. »
- Initial lectures, more practical application in the beginning. A bit more explanation of the math concepts»
- I think the work-load was too much. The course all-in-all was really good, but the projects took too much time, so there was not much time left to concentrate on the theory and on reading the book etc. Two projects would have been enough.»
- Nothing»
- No comment.»
- Some of the teachers, definitely all but some had a bad attitude against the students and were really arrogant. The commercial software could have been used more to get a better grip of it and not just "rushing through it". »

28. Additional comments

- I think you did a great jobb.»
- I am still hoping to have some introduction about this FEM in application or work (we missed one guest lecture class). So I, as a new student, will be more get motivated while I study this course program.»
- Clearify in a list exactly what should be presented in the report in form of derivations, pictures, diagrams, etc.»
- Too much heat problems. Focus more on elasticity.»
- I have been very negative here, i do however think that the course and the lectures have been good in general! »
- I did nopt feel that the teacher payed any attention or changed anything after the student evaluation. The lectures were going too fast and it was not possible to take notes & undestand at the same time. Better references must be made during the lectures or maybe some slides would help.»
- Teachers were extremely helpful and polite towards students when they went to visit there offices.»
- I think the course is a little too short. It took me quite some time to get through the material and if the course was maybe two weeks longer I would have understood the material better. To much material in short time.»
- The difficulty level of the final exam in relation to the assignments didn"t seem well weighed. If a student didn"t gather a sufficient score on the assignments, it"s going to be really tough to pass the course i.e. acquiring enough marks on the final exam.»
- Slow down the lectures a bit and talk with the face against the audience instead of the blackboard»

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