June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Design in Engineering Education
23.127.1 - 23.127.18
Versatile Rubric for Assessment of Design Process Application in Engineering Design ProjectsOur relatively new engineering program has been designed to train the Engineer of 2020.The program was developed from the ground up to not be an engineering discipline-specificprogram, but to provide students training with an emphasis on engineering design, systemsthinking, and sustainability. Our vision is to produce cross-disciplinary engineer versatilists. Atthe heart of our program is the six-course engineering design sequence which providesinstruction on design theory (thinking, process, methods, tools, etc.), sustainability, ethics, teammanagement, and technical communication (both oral and written), while incorporating elementsof engineering science and analysis. Students apply design instruction in the context of twoprojects during the six-course sequence—a cornerstone project spanning the fall and springsemesters of the sophomore year, and a capstone project spanning the junior and senior academicyears.As our inaugural class neared their graduation and our program grew, it became clear that anengineering design process rubric that could be used from the first semester of the sophomoreyear through the final semester of senior year would be needed to ensure consistency acrossprojects. The diversity of projects has varied widely with projects spanning a variety oftraditional engineering disciplines. Example projects include electric motorcycles and scooters,composting reactors, fire-fighting robots, biology-inspired drag reduction systems, a health clinicfor sub-Saharan Africa, and a distributable hearing test system. This project diversity causesstudents to be exposed to a variety of different manifestations of the design process. During thefirst two runs of the capstone design sequence this diversity caused confusion among students,design instructors, and faculty advisors. To address and mitigate confusion, the design facultydeveloped and piloted a versatile design rubric that focuses on assessing the commonality acrossall design projects–the design process. With design as a core element of our program, the rubricwas designed such that it can be mapped to both our two-semester and four-semester studentprojects. This paper presents the versatile design process rubric as well as the process taken todesign the rubric. Implementation of the guide as well as the lessons learned after applying theguide to senior and junior projects as a grading rubric, feedback mechanism, and as an in-classguide for student reflection on a project’s process are given in this paper.
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