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Abet Assessment Using Calibrated Peer Review

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.158.1 - 12.158.7



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Paper Authors


Frederick Berry

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FREDERICK C. BERRY is the Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute. Long an advocate of engineering educational reform, he has been active in such innovations as project learning, entrepreneurial studies, and advanced IT in the classroom. He also participates in many outreach programs to interest middle school children in engineering.

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Patricia Carlson

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Dr. Patricia A. Carlson received the BS from the College of William and Mary in 1968 and the MS and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University in 1969 and 1973 respectfully. Currently Dr. Carlson is Professor of American Literature and Director of PRISM, Department of Humanities and Social Science, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Most engineering programs have some type of capstone design experience. At Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Rose) the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department also has a similar set of courses. Therefore, the ECE Department decided to use senior design to assess EC3(g) (ABET Engineering Criterion 3-g): “ability to communicate effectively”. However, we needed/wanted a tool to help us develop our assessment process for EC3(g).

The ECE Department was introduced to the Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) [1]. CPR is an online-tool with four structured workspaces that perform in tandem to create a series of activities that reflect modern pedagogical strategies for using writing in the learning process

• Task: Students are presented with a challenging writing task, with guiding questions to act as scaffolding for the demanding cognitive activities. • Calibration: Students read through three “benchmark” samples and assign each a score based on a series of evaluative questions (a rubric). Students are then given a “Reviewer Competency Index – RCI” from 1 to 6, based on their demonstrated competency in these exercises. This segment mitigates the common objection to peer review in the undergraduate classroom: that the experience reduces itself to the-blind- leading-the-blind. • Peer Review: After becoming a “trained-reader” – and being assigned a RCI – students read and provide written feedback on three anonymous peer essays using the same rubric as used in the calibrations. Students also assign each essay a holistic score from 1 to 10. • Self-Assessment: As a final activity, students evaluate their own essay. As with calibration and peer review, students use the same “rubric” (set of performance standards for the task). Having “trained” on benchmark samples, and then applied their expertise in evaluating peer text, students now engage in a reflective, final activity by assessing their own submission. Students are encouraged at this time to make comments to themselves (and also available to the instructor) that capture the evolving insights they have gained in the previous two segments. They are also invited to reflect on whether they have gained a deeper level of understanding for the assignment and its outcomes.

How We Applied CPR

After some experimentation with CPR, it was very obvious that with proper design of exercises, CPR could be used to assess EC3(g). In fact, CPR could be used to make writing a method of learning engineering design. Therefore, the ECE Department has developed a complete course using CPR assignments to help our students develop proposals for their senior design projects. This course, ECE362 Principles of Design, is a junior level required course for all computer and electrical engineering students. ECE362 includes intellectual property, research methods, design specifications, conceptual design, scheduling, project management, business plan, market survey, and budgeting that culminates in a written proposal and oral presentation requesting funds for development of a product. The following CPR exercises’ are used in ECE362:

Berry, F., & Carlson, P. (2007, June), Abet Assessment Using Calibrated Peer Review Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1565

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