Tutors ran virtual lab sessions where they performed experiments, recording their measurements and data. Students had to extract the data and compare it with their own theoretical calculations to complete assessment tasks.
Traditionally there is also an invigilated final exam that is worth 50 per cent of the student’s assessment.
“As an alternative, for semester 1 2020, the approach taken was to have an authentic hands-on assessment with a DIY bridge project, worth 35 per cent, combined with a final quiz worth 15 per cent,” Dr Lee says.
Students first needed to research an existing bridge of their choice, observe the working principles of the bridge, then come up with their own design using materials of their choice from home. In addition, each student prepared a video presentation demonstrating the load test, and ways to improve their design.
“They had to build their bridge, submit a design report using principles learnt from the unit, then run a load test and reflections of the design on video,” says Dr Lee.
Here are some the results: