Teaching Assistant Surveys

The teaching assistants who actually work side-by-side with the students using the spreadsheet modules were also surveyed. Their survey, given at the end of the quarter, consisted of only six questions but also asked them for their comments. The questions and their answers, and their comments, are below.

Teaching Assistants' Comments

  • Students generally felt more comfortable about using a spreadsheet at the end of the quarter. As with any software, it seems that "hands on" is the best way to learn.

  • I thought the pre-lab exercises were too easy outside of the first one.

  • Although students complained about using Excel for the lab, they really learned a lot. I just think that those who complained were lazy... In the end the tedious work paid off.

  • On lab 1, an explanation of how to calculate Poisson's ratio, i.e., we tired values to get the correct values of Young's modulus and shear modulus. It is easy to do, but the students seemed to be easily confused about this.

Survey Results

1. The spreadsheet exercises used in the preparatory exercises and the laboratory experiments improved student’s overall understanding of the subject.

2. The students found the instructions given in the spreadsheet exercises clear and easy to understand.

3. The spreadsheet skills these exercises required were within the grasp of your students.

4. The overall level of difficulty of the exercises was appropriate for these students.

5. Based on your feedback from the students, they are now more likely to use spreadsheets to solve engineering problems.

6. Because of your experience with these spreadsheet exercises, you will be more inclined to implement similar tools in classes you teach in the future.

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