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Course evaluation: Finite element method - Applications, VSM014

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-03-13 - 2008-04-11
Antal svar: 34
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 54%
Kontaktperson: Fredrik Larsson»
Utbildningsprogram som genomför enkäten: Chalmers

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.

34 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»1 2%
Around 20 hours/week»8 23%
Around 25 hours/week»13 38%
Around 30 hours/week»8 23%
At least 35 hours/week»4 11%

Genomsnitt: 3.17

- The other course (Fundamental Structural Dynamics) took up a lot of time.» (Around 20 hours/week)
- The projects took a lot of time» (Around 25 hours/week)

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

34 svarande

0%»1 2%
25%»0 0%
50%»1 2%
75%»9 26%
100%»23 67%

Genomsnitt: 4.55

- All classes in the first weeks, but then, as always, you have to prioritize in the end.» (75%)
- Very good pace at the lectures, not too fast, and not too slow» (100%)
- It was useful.» (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. How understandable are the course goals?

33 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»7 21%
The goals are difficult to understand»0 0%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»9 27%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»17 51%

Genomsnitt: 3.09

- I usually read through all course goals in advance before the course starts. But at that time it is very hard to understand the goals since you haven"t taken the course yet. (The course goals usually talks about concepts that you haven"t heard of.) When I read through it now afterwards it seems fine.» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

4. 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.

27 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»1 3%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»25 92%
No, the goals are set too high»1 3%

Genomsnitt: 2

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

31 svarande

No, not at all»1 3%
To some extent»16 51%
Yes, definitely»12 38%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»2 6%

Genomsnitt: 2.48

- Together with the computer assignments, definitely, yes.» (To some extent)
- Q3 on exam abit inrelevant...» (To some extent)

Teaching and course administration

6. To what extent has the teaching been of help for your learning?

34 svarande

Small extent»3 8%
Some extent»12 35%
Large extent»15 44%
Great extent»4 11%

Genomsnitt: 2.58

- To few examples» (Small extent)
- Nice with a lecturer who uses the black board. This is very appreciated.» (Large extent)
- Very good lectures, Fredrik takes it slowly and does not assume that we remember everything from the earlier courses (which we don"t!).» (Great extent)

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

34 svarande

Small extent»0 0%
Some extent»7 20%
Large extent»20 58%
Great extent»7 20%

Genomsnitt: 3

- Learned most from old exams» (Large extent)
- I think it is great to use texts written specifically for the things we should learn. » (Great extent)

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

34 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»0 0%
Rather well»4 11%
Very well»30 88%

Genomsnitt: 3.88

Study climate

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

34 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»0 0%
Rather good»4 11%
Very good»29 85%
I did not seek help»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 3.91

- » (Very good)
- The open-door policy was appreciated.» (Very good)
- Two hours of lecture and two hours of group work is a good combination!» (Very good)

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

34 svarande

Very poorly»2 5%
Rather poorly»0 0%
Rather well»8 23%
Very well»24 70%
I did not seek cooperation»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.58

11. How was the course workload?

34 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»1 2%
Adequate»15 44%
High»16 47%
Too high»2 5%

Genomsnitt: 3.55

- The first course in the Applied mechanics program where the workload is adequate. Very good! You can not have courses with high or very high all the times... Adequate is better than high (although high is better than low).» (Adequate)
- OK» (High)

12. How was the total workload this study period?

34 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»11 32%
High»14 41%
Too high»9 26%

Genomsnitt: 3.94

- High and therefore adequate.» (High)
- This was by far the worst period during my years at chalmers. We had a lot to do in the other course as well...» (Too high)


The examination consisted of three computer assignments, one mandatory lab and one final written exam.

13. How was the workload in CA1: Non-linear heat conduction analysis of a concrete pipe?

34 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»22 64%
High»10 29%
Too high»2 5%

Genomsnitt: 3.41

14. To what extent was CA1 interesting and helpful for learning the topic?

34 svarande

Small/no extent»1 2%
Some extent»9 26%
Large extent»17 50%
Great extent»7 20%

Genomsnitt: 2.88

- Already done nonlinear problems before, differently.» (Small/no extent)
- Projekt är bra för att lära sig programmera i matlab. Men de hjälper en inte så mycket i inlärningen av teorin. » (Some extent)

15. How was the workload in CA2: Mechanical analysis of the Hoover Dam?

34 svarande

Too Low»0 0%
Low»2 5%
Adequate»22 64%
High»9 26%
Too high»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 3.26

16. To what extent was CA2 interesting and helpful for learning the topic?

34 svarande

Small/no extent»1 2%
Some extent»6 17%
Large extent»21 61%
Great extent»6 17%

Genomsnitt: 2.94

- Probably to easy semi static problem.» (Small/no extent)
- kul med något som är lite mer kopplat till något verkligt, och inte bara en platta eller liknande.» (Large extent)
- The assignments one and two were both based on projects we had in the basic course, which was very good since we were familiar with the problem, so that we could better concentrate on the new things, which were most important.» (Large extent)

17. How was the workload in CA3: Stress and buckling analysis of a thin-walled steel plate?

34 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»16 47%
High»14 41%
Too High»4 11%

Genomsnitt: 3.64

- "buckling" delen var lite lurig, svårt att vet hur det skulle vara / bli.» (Adequate)

18. To what extent was CA3 interesting and helpful for learning the topic?

34 svarande

Small/no extent»2 5%
Some extent»7 20%
Large extent»14 41%
Great extent»11 32%

Genomsnitt: 3

- Didn"t have as much theoretical questions as the other two.» (Some extent)

19. To what extent was the mandatory lab with ABAQUS interesting and helpful for learning the topic?

34 svarande

Small/no extent»21 61%
Some extent»9 26%
Large extent»1 2%
Great extent»3 8%

Genomsnitt: 1.58

- Completely pointless.» (Small/no extent)
- It was really interesting to see some real commercial code, but the outcome of the lab was poor. The guidelines for the second part were almost none existing. We had to guess how to get through each step and in total, we didn"t learn anything.» (Small/no extent)
- blir lite för lite tid tror jag. Det hade nästan kunnat kvitta. Men det är kul att få testa på komersella program, kanske skulle kunna göra en CA som man löser både i matlab och ABAQUS och jämför resultat etc» (Small/no extent)
- Since we had already had a mandatory abaqus lab in the basic course, it didn"t add anything doing the exact same task. The lab part on the buckling was ok but the lab should had had more focus on this part. The lecture before the lab for example was more or less the same as in the basic course.» (Small/no extent)
- To small to be meaningful really. I don"t remember anything.» (Small/no extent)
- This was the only bad part of the course. Almost a joke. We what to learn how to use commersial soft ware, but then we need more then a useless lecture and two hours in front of the computer. This must be done better next year (do not remove it!!!) Why not replace one of the CA with a bigger ABAQUS task, or combine one CA with ABAQUS?» (Small/no extent)
- All students from the structural engineering department had had that abaqus introduction before, so that it was mere a repetition. In our other course - timber engineering - we worked rather much with abaqus last term, so that the lab was not very useful to us» (Small/no extent)
- Since it was the same introduction we had in the course "Finite element method - basics" it was just a repetition. Furthermore, in the course "Timber engineering" Abaqus was used too.» (Small/no extent)
- Pretty much same as in basic-course. Something good about critical loads though.» (Small/no extent)
- Could have been a better introduction to abaqus a the lecture before the lab.» (Some extent)
- Very interesting, more of that.» (Some extent)
- It was very nice to get a look at Abaqus but I found it strange that the second assignment (the buckling problem) had no instructions. It was impossible to figure out how to do it on one hour.» (Large extent)

20. How was the level of the written exam in terms of difficulty?

34 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»4 11%
Adequate»14 41%
High»15 44%
Too High»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 3.38

- Not very hard exam. The last question on the exam was strange. Just a little bit mathematics, no FEM knowledge.» (Low)
- I really liked the form of our exam and all the old ones. The difficulty level was definitely adequate. One comment on our exam though: Problem 3 was a fun problem, but I didn"t feel it had much to do with FEM-applications, it was just algebra.» (Adequate)
- En timme till tack.» (High)
- Väldigt stor skillnad på tentan och övningstentorna, som var relativt lika varandra.» (High)
- The final exam should have been more similar to the previous exams. I mean... we could only study those exams, there were no other problems to solve than those in the pre-exams... » (High)
- Compared to the other (9!) exams I think that there was a considerate difference in difficulty level with our final exam. » (High)
- A bit confusing questions but OK.» (High)

Summarizing questions

21. What is your general impression of the course?

34 svarande

Poor»1 2%
Fair»2 5%
Adequate»6 17%
Good»18 52%
Excellent»7 20%

Genomsnitt: 3.82

- Im not sure I learned much from this course. Perhaps some new commands in matlab. » (Fair)
- Bra engagemang hos lärare.» (Adequate)
- When I took this course I was excepting something else. It was exactly like the basic course, but much harder. I didn"t expect the same course. And most of all I didn"t expect so much theory....» (Adequate)
- Would have been excellent if the ABAQUS had been done better.» (Good)
- The lectures were excellent! The supervision by the assistents could be improved - explanations to problems were sometimes too quick or incomplete.» (Good)
- All courses I have taken from applied mechanics are very good and well organized.» (Good)
- Great job!» (Good)
- I feel I have a much larger insight into the FEM now, thanks to this course.» (Excellent)

22. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- Pojekten, men mindre tidskrävande projekt.»
- The computer assignments are very good. Opportunities for getting help are exellent»
- The computer labs»
- The teachers»
- well.... most of it I guess. It was a good course, even though I do have some complains...»
- The examination form with assignments that gave point to the exam.»
- Assignments»
- The projects - they do take a lot of time, but it helps in the learning process.»
- Easy to ask for, and get help»
- The size of the CAs and the examination form (the fact that it is an open-book exam as well as the type of problems, except problem 3 of our exam, which was a bit out of of touch with the course contents)»
- The assignments»
- Some kind of computer assignments.»
- The whole topics.»
- Everything»
- The computer assignments.»
- The good study climate felt during the course is the thing that should really be preserved.»
- Project woik!»

23. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Mer exempelräkning på tavlan. Teorin är omöjlig att förstå direkt under föreläsningarna, så skriv ner de formlerna på hemsidan och fokusera föreläsningarna på praktisk förståelse av ämnet.»
- Include a serious abaqus lab or skip it completely.»
- The abaqus lab»
- maybe some solution of the question in the material»
- More exercises... much more exercises in order to make the theory more understandable...»
- I think the ABAQUS could be skipped. »
- The abaqus part»
- Going through more, and more thorough, examples on the black board»
- The compendia could of course be looked through to correct errors. There weren"t too many but some.»
- Maybe a more tricky exam.»
- 1 .During the course, there were a lot of abbreviations and symbols which were the same. Sometimes it was really confusing. for ex. in Newton method, the stiffness matrix name was K and the tangent stiffness matrix was also K. At the last part we had p for deflection and P for load! there were also some more ambiguities. 2. There should be more elaboration about V and V0 (trial and test space) during the whole course. »
- The ABAQUS-lab.»
- More linkage between the Abaqus lab and the computer assignments.»
- ABAQUS lab was not so good arranged, and the lecturer did not give enough information and did not look so ambitious during the workshops. And I think just a two-hour Lab can not be so helpful especially if it is presented in the way that it was presented. The course literature was quite helpful but it would be a good idea if the notations used in them is unified! And it would take less time from the students to comprehend the assignment goals if the same thing is done for the assignment hound-outs.»
- Connect the lectures more to the computer assignments.»
- A bit better connection between lectures and projects. Some more "exam-like" exercises performed by teachers on blackboard in excersises.»

24. Additional comments

- Projecten är bra i sig, men de tar all ens lediga tid. Så därför hinner man inte läsa på teorin eller göra några uppgifter. När kursen är klar är man jättebra på att göra for-loopar och utveckla styvhetsmatriser men vet egentligen inte så mycket om FEM.»
- As I said... I do have some complains but there were good things as well. This course would have been great if the theory was applied to some problems... not the kind of problems we solved in matlab (calfem did most of the job) but some smaller problems like those in the basic course.»
- Good course overall and thank you!»

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