Developing a course in nuclear reactor modelling and going from campus-based to web-based teaching
Paper in proceedings, 2014
This paper presents the development of a course in nuclear reactor modelling at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. This course, part of an international master program in nuclear engineering, deals with the modelling of deterministic neutron transport, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer in nuclear cores. The objective of the course is to present the methods applied in the simulation tools used by the industry for both steady-state and transient calculations. The originality of the course lies with the fact that all the above fields are tackled in a single course and that all the fundamental algorithms, together with their approximations and limitations, are detailed. The paper also reports on a web-based teaching framework lately adopted for the course. In this configuration, the course was entirely based on using the web for all lectures, tutorials, examination, and communication with the teaching staff. All course materials were accessible on the web to all students at any time, with the lectures recorded in advance and the tutorials live broadcasted and also available for on-demand viewing. The on-site students also had the possibility to attend the tutorials in a classical campus-based teaching set-up. An evaluation of the web-based teaching methods was made possible by the fact that the course was earlier run in a campus-based format. Despite a limited number of students making difficult to draw any systematic conclusions, a deeper learning to the course concepts was perceived.