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A Capstone Design Experience that Makes Easy the Assessment of Some of the Trickier ABET Student Outcomes to Measure

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Nuclear and Radiological Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Nuclear and Radiological

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.18.1 - 26.18.16



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Paper Authors


Bryndol A. Sones United States Military Academy

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Colonel Bryndol Sones directs the Nuclear Engineering Program at West Point. He has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MS in Atomic Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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A capstone design experience that makes easy the assessment of the some of the trickier ABET Student Outcomes to measureAbstract:This paper describes a one-year nuclear engineering capstone design course that isrich in assessment data to evaluate student achievement in several ABET StudentOutcomes. Efforts in the course begin about six months prior to its start byengaging students with a course overview, general guidance about design projectoptions, and a requirement for students to provide professors with their topicalinterest areas. Over the summer, professors work to align student interests withfaculty capabilities and with possible external project clients. Students areorganized into groups of 2-3 with a direct faculty mentor and an external clientwho is recognized as a subject matter expert doing current work in that field. Thecourse starts deliberately slow and exhaustive in identifying, analyzing, andcommunicating design options to peers, faculty mentors, and external clients.Throughout the course, a thread that ties the two semesters together is the writingand presenting for an engineering conference which usually occurs within amonth of graduation. All students finish the experience with a publication in theconference proceedings. Rather than assess all ABET SOs a-k, the course has acentral focuses on assessing the ability to design a system, component, or process(SO c) and through carefully developed student experiences and assessmentrubrics, course administrators have relatively easy access to some of the moredifficult SOs to measure. These include student attainment of understanding theimpact of their solution (SO h), recognizing the need for life-lone learning (SO i),and knowledge of contemporary issues (SO j). This paper presents assessmentdata for some of the trickier student outcomes to measure and some lessonslearned on how they were measured.

Sones, B. A. (2015, June), A Capstone Design Experience that Makes Easy the Assessment of Some of the Trickier ABET Student Outcomes to Measure Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23359

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