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FEM basics, autumn 2011, VSM167

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2011-12-19 - 2011-12-31
Antal svar: 40
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 46%
Kontaktperson: Håkan Johansson»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Väg- och vattenbyggnad 300 hp
Utbildningsprogram studenten tillhör: Väg- och vattenbyggnad 300 hp

Specific questions

1. To what extent did the following course activities aid your learning


- Very good to have lectures on the blackboards instead of power-point presentations.»
- The problem solving exercises in lecture rooms were somewhat hard to follow, and they came straight after lectures on the same subject, making it hard for students to get a good grasp of the subject before the exercise. I think it might be better to use those hours for more lectures or more computer exercises, with the solutions handed out on the homepage in case students would want to see them. The lectures and project work was fantastic opporunities for learning assuming the student was eager to learn.»
- Except the first lecture, I basically couldn"t follow or understand anything from this course"s lectures.»
- There ought to be more problem solving exercises, since there were very few of those. The project work is much too large in relation to the course.»
- The lectures are essential, but I find it hard to understand the subject in the lecture hall. It"s during Exercises and project work the real understanding takes place.»
- I would prefer more focus on Abaqus and maybe also more help with Matlab on the beginning - like doing one exercicese together»
- Using the commercial didn"t really help much with the understanding of FEM, but was a good way of verifying the results obtained in Matlab.»
- Too many pupils and to few teachers during exercises!»

40 svarande

Small extent»2 5%
Some extent»11 27%
Large extent»14 35%
Great extent»13 32%

Genomsnitt: 2.95

Problem solving exercises
40 svarande

Small extent»9 22%
Some extent»19 47%
Large extent»8 20%
Great extent»4 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.17

Computer room exercises
39 svarande

Small extent»5 12%
Some extent»5 12%
Large extent»15 38%
Great extent»14 35%

Genomsnitt: 2.97

Course literature
40 svarande

Small extent»1 2%
Some extent»3 7%
Large extent»22 55%
Great extent»14 35%

Genomsnitt: 3.22

Project work
40 svarande

Small extent»2 5%
Some extent»4 10%
Large extent»6 15%
Great extent»28 70%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

Programming FEM in Matlab
40 svarande

Small extent»3 7%
Some extent»5 12%
Large extent»17 42%
Great extent»15 37%

Genomsnitt: 3.1

Using commercial software (COMSOL, Abaqus)
40 svarande

Small extent»5 12%
Some extent»24 60%
Large extent»9 22%
Great extent»2 5%

Genomsnitt: 2.2

General questions

2. How understandable are the course goals?

40 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»12 30%
The goals are difficult to understand»1 2%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»12 30%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»15 37%

Genomsnitt: 2.75

- I forgot what they look like.» (I have not seen/read the goals)
- I think håkan did a very good job with lectures and also with information regarding the course process, i.e. goals etc etc» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

3. Did the examination (projects and written exam) assess whether you have reached the goals?

39 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»9 23%
Yes, definitely»26 66%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»4 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.87

- The projects were way to complicated and time consuming. It was extremely difficult to understand the tasks and we had to consult the teachers all the time to get anywhere. A lot of the times we didn"t understand what we were doing, all groups were just helping/copying each other to get the projects done but I feel that few actually learned something. To pass the final exam you only needed a few points if you completed the projects. This means that you actually don"t need to know a lot to pass. On the other hand, if you didn"t do the projects but have good knowledge of FEM and studied a lot, full score on the final exam won"t even help you pass the course. I feel this system is made to have a high percentage of students passing the course without even actually know the basics.» (To some extent)
- The projects were difficult and too time consuming - although they were interesting! But I think it depends on who you work with whether you learned more or less. How can we take away that factor to ensure that all students reach the goals? That I cannot answer I"m afraid.Furthermore, I think the review of the projects were a bit unfair: it depended on who corrected it and also you got too much minus points if you failed to present a result in the report explicitely, meaning that it wasn"t even ok to refer to an appendix - which I think is odd when you have the right answers and worked hard on the report in general. The projects are time consuming to begin with, then to also be so specific about results I think is strange (depending of course which results we are talking about: I mean e.g. derivations of equations mainly - since it takes alot of time to write those in word, rather then to have them in an appendix). The exam was more difficult this year than the previous year"s exams - which I felt was unfortunate. Maybe it was because Håkan had more time to work on it this year?(I think he said he had). » (To some extent)
- It is too easy to score good points on the project work and then pass the exam with low points.» (To some extent)
- It was a very good exam, it tested real knowledge since the problems were pretty easy but the some tweaking that made us show whether we had understood FEM or not. I understood more by concentrating on the exam than I did after one week exam-studying.» (Yes, definitely)

4. How was the work load in this course?

40 svarande

Very low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
OK»3 7%
High»14 35%
Very high»23 57%

Genomsnitt: 4.5

- High but fun!» (High)
- high, but in a good way! » (High)
- As previously stated I think the work load was too high - due to the project work.» (High)
- Very little time left for the other course, Heat and moisture engineering.» (Very high)
- Insane. 10 hours in school everyday and still not enough time. The focus was on FEM and heat and moisture course suffered. Fem basics should be 10 credits or more. » (Very high)
- The projects took very musch time so it feels like there should be either project work or an exam. » (Very high)
- Too high work load! The project works are way too time-consuming. We didnt have time to work with our other course. of course we learn FEM very well but the reaching the goals in the other course was really hard because there wasnt enough time. » (Very high)
- It took long time sometimes to understand what to task in the project work was about, the fisrt project was okay becasue their we had some guidelines but the two other project was a little bit trickier.. » (Very high)
- The work load was very high, making the Heat and Moisture course second-priority. For me, aiming to work with structural engineering, this was fine, but it might be different for other students.» (Very high)
- The time to finish the projects was extreme. So much time to try to understand the weird formulated tasks and subtasks only made people frustrated.» (Very high)
- I (and everybody who I talked to agreed with me) had to put 99% of focus into this course and the remaining 1% on the other course taken this semester (Heat and Moisture)» (Very high)
- Although it was very high, perhaps it was the only to get a better understanding of the course » (Very high)
- Too high! It should be enough with the project work!» (Very high)
- This course have prerequisties (unsure about spelling: förkunskapskrav) in the courses I have had most problems in and thats probably why I had to spend about 60 hours a week in this course only.» (Very high)
- This is a 7,5 credit course, not ment that we should spend 40 hours a week with it. Had to neglect the other course totally.» (Very high)
- Extremely time consuming course. In this regard, it was fortunate that the other course was useless, and very few made an effort in that course.» (Very high)
- För hög! Tre projekt av den här storleken är orimligt om man samtidigt ska ha en skriven examination. Vi var tvugna att enbart prioritera den här kursen och heat&moisture engineering hamnade i skymundan för att projekten tog så extremt mycket tid. Antal timmar som lagts ner i den här kursen överskrider långt mer än 100% studietakt. » (Very high)

5. What should definately be preserved for the next year?

- Project work»
- The labs»
- The projects.»
- The project tasks. But please give more lead to the subtasks. Most of the time was spent on formulating the code and searching for hours in the book. And simply not understading what to do. »
- The lecture about real life projects and the one optimization.»
- the projects»
- Project work and course book.»
- The teacher»
- The idea of having projects to learn problem solving and MATLAB is good but not in the way it is carried out today. Make the projects way shorter and simple. It"s better the students actually understand what they are doing and learn something. Today it just feels like a waste of time.»
- Still I think the project work is interesting and good. My issues are that each project was rather large with a great deal of tasks, which took too much time really. Also, whether one learned something or not depended much on whoever one worked with - might it be better to have some project as individual work? In that case, at least, one ensures that the student must learn about the project in its entirety.So in conclusion, keep the project but consider the scale of them and also consider the learning of the students.»
- Filip »
- The project work.It"s a really good way to learn. Also, I didn"t learn so much by using COMSOL and Abaqus but it"s interesting to see how FEM is used in reality. »
- The structure with Project work that leads to the exam.»
- The projects»
- elasticity exercises in matlab and abaqus.»
- the projects are good, but takes to much time»
- Lectures, Computer room exercises, project works»
- the project work was very good»
- The project work!»
- Everything.»
- Lectures and project work.»
- Probelm solving, project work, COMSOL and Abaqus»
- Projktarbetena, fast med mindre arbetsbelastning. Heat and moisture kursen tyvärr blev lidande pga den höga arbetsbelastningen i FEM.»
- Project work»
- Projekten är bra eftersom de skapar väldigt bra förståelse och tar upp stora delar av kursen, men de är för omfattande. »
- more introduction a bout matlab for international student should be considered.»
- Project work»
- The projects were very good for understanding of FEM. »

6. What should definately be changed for the next year?

- Give clear instructions on report from the beginning. »
- More thorough instruction of CALFEM-routines in the beginning.»
- More lead/hints in the project tasks. Alot of time spent in not getting anywhere. That time could be spent on theory instead.»
- I think it should be possible to redo the project, we put in so much effort and if just something was wrong/missing it would have been good to be able to make a "retur".»
- Maybe there is some way to optimize, only concentrate on the really important parts (i understand that everything is important) and only have for example two projects or make the three project a bit smaller. »
- Less time-consuming project .»
- The problem solving exercises. Possibly make the commercial software parts more in-depth or remove them (They took about 5% of the time spent on each project)»
- The lectures and exercise must in some way be adopted level of the students. Everything was way to abstract and every lecture I just wondered, what is he talking about? What is he calculating or deriving? The lecture must be more specific, what are we doing? What are we going to solve? What do we want to derive? Why do we wont to derive or solve this? Try to make it somehow more basic and simple. It"s better that the course includes less and that we actually learn it. Comments for the exercises is basically the same as for the lectures. Everybody I spoke to about the lectures and exercises felt that they couldn"t follow, they felt like idiots.»
- I would prefer some changes in the projects as stated. Furthermore, I would like to see more problem solving exercises. Even though the lectures were good and most of the time one could consult the notes or the book to learn how to solve FEM problems, however not all of the time - sometimes one got stuck and then it would have been good to at least have seen the most importants problems been solved during exercises.»
- More exercise solving on the blackboard»
- Maybe the work load should be a bit lower. Some parts of the projects (mathematical derivations for example) could be skipped. As it is now FEM has taken a lot of time from the parallell course. »
- There were alot of derivations in the project that took a long time, but wasn"t really related to the FEM-problems. (TILL EXEMPEL KVADRATKOMPLETTERINGAR) They took alot of time and made the projects stressing but didn"t add much understanding»
- I would like more practical use instead of the derivations during lectures.»
- Comsol and some lab work - I didn"t really see the point of that. I have no idea how to use comsol for any other thing than cup test.»
- the amont of time needed for the projects»
- Some more Matlab guidance would really be appreciated »
- we needed a lot of help during the project, but it felt a bit like we took up too much time from the teachers. it may have been good to have some more schedueled time for questions»
- More help for the project work! Either smaller project work or no written exam.»
- I think that maybe it should be a different way to reach the lower grade 3, that don"t make you do it all because I think it"s very good if you are a top student and don"t find the projects that difficult, but me and my partner really had to struggle all the time to get good grades to have a reasonable chance to make the exam. But maybe the projects only handled that parts that are on the 3-grade learning outcomes, if so, don"t bother about my comment and keep on because it is a good course, though with a very very high workload.»
- Lower the work load, especially in Project 2. Better instructions for using Abaqus.»
- Perhaps to have the problem solving exercises later in the course, as an aid for the written exam.»
- Clarity when it comes to the form of the reports for the projects. »
- Provide more excercises.»
- Arbetsbelastningen i projektarbetena.»
- One of the male exercise leaders (not Filip) did not succeed very well in his teaching. He seemed insecure and was a bit unorganized, going forward too fast. Fang was too harsh when correcting the project work. »
- Genomgång av comsom och abaqus borde ske när man har en dator samtidigt. Väldigt svårt att göra anteckningar och sedan applicera det när man själv ska modellera. De bästa borde om genomgång istället sker i en datasal. »
- Maybe only one bigger project work instead of three diffrent. The last project started up very late in the course, it was hard to have time to do the work before the exams.»
- problem solving exercises..should, in my opinion, be more interacted with lectures»

7. What is your general impression of the course?

40 svarande

Poor»3 7%
Fair»0 0%
Adequate»5 12%
Good»21 52%
Excellent»11 27%

Genomsnitt: 3.92

- Simply too much of a time effort. 7.5 credits are a joke. As a Swedish student, this is the most time demanding course I have ever done. 8 hours study a day should cover two courses. In this case the time wasn"t even enough for this course.» (Poor)
- During the lectures Håkan asked a lot of times if there were any questions but no one said anything. This does not mean that everybody understands everything and that everything is clear. The one thing most of the students was thinking was, "I don"t understand anything". This is something the person leading the lecture should have in mind. Ask the class "who understands what I just went through" and base your conclusion on that response instead. I am pretty sure that the class still would remain silent. Its no point continuing and move forward each lecture if you loose the majority of the students. Take a step back and make sure that most of the students follow and understands what you want to teach.» (Poor)
- Learnt a lot about FEM, but that is because all hours spent. Should be worth 15 credits.» (Adequate)
- I like the subject and the course as a whole. I"m a little sad that the exam was very different from previous years, in the way that it was more difficult. However, even though one hadn"t seen those types of problems before - I think that they tested the knowledge in the right way. But hadn"t it been for the points from the project, I would have been more upset - since due to the projects there wasn"t really time to calculate problems and prepare adequately for the exam.» (Good)
- The course itself was for me interesting. I personally was extremely lost in the derivations and formulas on the beginning, just Matlab made sense for me. But when studying for exam, i finally understood the strong form -> weak form -> FE form. And even that is interesting. I would prefer more focus on working with Abaqus then on going very deep with hand derivations.» (Good)
- To me it was by far the best course so far in the masters program, with teachers and PhD students really willing to help the students. » (Excellent)
- It was a great experience coming across FEM in its general form, ie in general problems of an engineer and not only in structures. Anyone who really studied for this course should already be able to apply FEM for a variety of phenomena. » (Excellent)
- Very good! Best course so far in the masters program.» (Excellent)

8. Additional comments not covered by previous questions:

- Good to have interaction with H&M Engineering. Discussion about applications of FEM could be broader and put in the contex of tasks performed by structural engineers. »
- The project I think took mor time then you excpected but the outcome (point for exam AND learning) was great. Big thx to the phD and håkan who helped us alot when everybody showed up at your office all the time»
- funny coarse»
- I felt that there need to be some way to do extra reading when I couldn"t follow already from the start. The course material didn"t help me understand the basics. I more or less didn"t understand what I was reading. I felt that I would need an extra book that explains all questions that pops up during reading.»
- Very good possibilities to get help from the teachers, especially Filip and Håkan! »
- I think it was very good that the teachers were open for discussion about problems and the project work. In my exercise group I got in touch with Filip and Håkan they did a very good job.»
- The amount of time spent on the course are more than 7.5 points compared to other courses»
- In my opinion, all the teaching stuff did great job for this course. Only some more guidance with Matlab and how is programming with this software connected with FEM»
- Add more applicatoin samples so that students know more clearly what they will use this course for.»
- Jag tycker tentan känns överflödig om man ska ha så stora projekt. Antingen måste projekten minskas i omfattning eller så borde tentan tas bort, det är orimligt att ha båda. Antal timmar vi lagt ner i den här kursen är mer än vad som ska krävas av en 7,5hp-kurs. Föreläsningarna är väldigt bra, föreläsaren är tydlig och pedagogisk. Dock borde det finnas bättre material tillgängligt på nätet om man inte har möjligthet att närvara vid alla föreläsningstillfällen. Anteckningar som delades ut på hemsidan är oläsliga. Fler övningstillfällen och frågetillfällen borde finnas. Det är ingen lätt kurs och studenterna kan behöva mycket rådgivning i projekten. Det var då svårt att få tag på föreläsare och övningsledare och fick man då tag på dessa gav de ofta intryck av att man störde och de hade egentligen inte tid att hjälpa till. Gör man sånna här projekt måste man ju också kunna hjälpa till. Det är ju tydligt, med tanke på hur många som var och frågade, att det inte är helt enkelt. Antingen får man då göra projekten mer tydliga, eller så får man ta att studenterna behöver hjälp! »

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