A purposeful approach has been taken to match teaching pedagogies (techniques), learning experiences and assessment methods to various types of student learning in undergraduate aerospace propulsion courses at junior-level at the United States Air Force Academy and at the senior-level at Oklahoma State University. Prior studies in the scholarship of teaching and learning have shown the benefits of matching assessment methods, as well as teaching pedagogies and learning experiences, to the types of student learning associated with desired educational outcomes. Literature suggests that the best method for teaching and assessing student cognitive learning is through explanation and presentation. Oral assessments have been implemented at the Air Force Academy and Oklahoma State University to evaluate student cognitive learning in undergraduate aerospace propulsion and power courses. An oral midterm exam was developed to assess student acquisition of subject matter knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts, the type of learning occurring early in course lesson sequences. End-of-semester design project poster sessions and presentations were used as summative oral assessments of student creative thinking, decision making, and professional judgement. Conversely, two written midterm exams and a final exam primarily focused on assessing student problem solving skills and less on comprehensive knowledge. Oral assessments also served as reflective thinking experiences that reinforced student learning. Student feedback on oral assessment methods was collected through surveys conducted after each assessment. Survey results not only revealed the effectiveness of using oral assessments but also how to improve their design and implementation, including the use of information technology and broader curricular employment.

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