New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
To prepare the next generation of civil engineers to tackle 21st century challenges, engineering education must commit to deepening engineer’s social consciousness through exposure to societal problems in addition to teaching technical competencies. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering offers a framework for exposing students to the role of a modern engineer and the complex global challenges that require engineering intervention. In response to these challenges, many U.S. engineering schools have adopted the Grand Challenge Scholars (GCS) program to educate a new generation of engineering professionals equipped to tackle society’s most imminent problems. This paper presents the development of a holistic rubric to assess student scholarship and inform competencies related to Grand Challenges. The rubric builds on best practices in assessment and evaluation of the five key NAE GCS program components, including 1) hands-on project/research experience, 2) interdisciplinary curriculum, 3) entrepreneurship, 4) global dimension, and 5) service learning. The authors discuss potential applications of the rubric to evaluate course-level outcomes and programmatic-level outcomes, including student projects from an interdisciplinary course entitled “XXXX” in which students work collaboratively in teams to address a societal Grand Challenge in a semester-long project and multi-semester, interdisciplinary student projects that tackle Grand Challenges on an international scale entitled “XXXX.” This rubric fills a literature gap in assessing 21st century global engineering skills by measuring capabilities based five key NAE GCS program components and provides a mechanism to understand and influence the quality of student education and experiences within Grand Challenge-focused courses and programs.
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