Web based method for self-evaluation and gaining essential knowledge

30 May 2013 by ICTO TEAM
Prof. Dr. P.L.J. Zitha (CEG)

Replacing convergence courses by a web based self-testing and knowledge development system in the MSc programme of "Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences".

Project description
Foreign students that enroll in the MSc programme of "Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences" are first tested on their knowledge, and if necessary, advised to gain extra skills. Until this moment, we have offered convergence courses. A recent evaluation revealed that the current convergence courses are too expensive. Moreover, the courses are not on par with the MSc curriculum (e.g. students failed the convergence course and yet passed the corresponding regular course). Therefore it was decided to discontinue the convergence courses and to offer the international MSc students a web based self-testing and knowledge development system.

Assisting the incoming PE&E MSc students by creating a secure web-based environment where they can do a self-evaluation of their knowledge and if it is required they can obtain information and guidance to help them up-grade their knowledge. Functionalities web environment:

  • A test comprising 15-25 questions about the following core disciplines of the PE&G curriculum: mathematics, thermodynamic and chemistry, petroleum geology, geophysics.
  • A score upon completing the self-evaluation test. In the case of an insufficient score, students will receive a list of recommended books and web-based courses offered by TU Delft or other institutions, so that they can upgrade their knowledge on a selfstudy basis.
  • Recording of the details of the students taking the test and their results.
  • Allowance of retaking the test at a one- or two-weeks interval.

For the project we used the already existing infrastructure of blackboard. Doing this we were assisted by the ELS department of the TU Delft. The tests were created in Maple TA and worked perfectly. Student could make the tests according to their own schedule and if updating their knowledge was required, it was fairly easy to find the necessary material. 
The launch of the digital learning environment was planned in summer 2013. Due to some delays we didn’t make it so it was postponed to the summer of 2014. At the moment the environment is totally up and running and is waiting for its first users. 
The fact that we have to wait on the students at the moment is because of the fact that students first have to get a net-ID before they can reach the blackboard site. As most of the users will be students from outside the TU Delft this will happen somewhere in June or July.  This is at the moment our weak point and we’ll have to evaluate after the project if students had enough time to properly use the site to their full advantage. 

Tips for colleagues

  • Blackboard is an easy way to create a learning environment. 
  • Take in account that you need a Net-ID to get in blackboard. If the users need access before July and don’t have a net-ID an alternative for blackboard is recommended 

More information

Teacher: Prof. Dr. P.L.J. Zitha (CiTG); email: p.l.j.zitha@remove-this.tudelt.nl
Year: 2013-2014

© 2017 TU Delft