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Study on the use of a combination of IPython Notebook and an industry‐standard package in educating a CFD course

Seddighi, M, Allanson, D, Rothwell, G and Takrouri, K (2020) Study on the use of a combination of IPython Notebook and an industry‐standard package in educating a CFD course. Computer Applications in Engineering Education. ISSN 1061-3773

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Abstract

It is common that industry‐standard packages are used in teaching professional engineering courses in final‐year undergraduate and postgraduate levels. To improve the competency of students in using such professional packages, it is important that students develop a good understanding of theoretical/fundamental concepts used on the packages. However, it is always a challenge to teach theoretical/fundamental concepts in the computational‐related courses. The teaching of such subjects can be improved by the use of advanced open‐source web applications. The present research proposes an approach based upon the combination of Jupyter Notebook and an industry‐standard package to teach an applied, computationally related course. We investigate the use of backward design and a novel tool called IPython (Jupyter) Notebook to redesign a postgraduate Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) course. IPython Notebook is used to design a series of integrated lecture slides and tutorial tasks, and also one of the assignments for the blended‐learning‐based, semester‐run, CFD course. The tool allows the implementation of backward curriculum design and a learn‐by‐doing approach in redesigning the course. The materials produced were used on the first part of the course which contributed 40% towards the course's final mark and delivered the fundamental concepts of CFD over the first half of the semester. The remaining 60% of the mark was based on a final project from the materials taught on using an industry‐standard CFD package in solving complex CFD problems during the second half of the semester. It was shown that the Ipython environment is a very useful tool which provides learning‐by‐doing practices allowing students to have a coherent integrated lecture, tutorial, and assignment material in a highly interactive way. It improved (a) students' engagement in teaching complex theoretical concepts, (b) students satisfaction of the course and (c) students performance in working with the industry‐standard package over the second half of the semester.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09 Engineering, 13 Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Maritime & Mechanical Engineering
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 11:31
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 11:31
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/cae.22273
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13062

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