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Assessing Graduate Attributes Within a Two-Semester Capstone Design Course

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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

Design in Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.242.1 - 26.242.14



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Paper Authors


Jacqueline Ann Stagner P.Eng. University of Windsor

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Dr. Stagner is the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Windsor.

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Jennifer L Johrendt University of Windsor

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Dr. Johrendt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering at the University of Windsor. She holds degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston (B.Sc., M.A.Sc.) and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor (Ph.D.). She began a career in automotive research as a product development engineer at the University of Windsor/Chrysler Canada Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC), conducting vehicle durability studies and associated research activities in the Road Test Simulation (RTS) laboratory. In 2005, Johrendt joined the University of Windsor as an Experiential Learning Specialist, focusing on teaching and educational research in hands-on learning and cooperative education as it relates to undergraduate engineering. She has developed neural network models for automotive rubber bushings for incorporation in durability simulations with the goal of accelerating product development. Additional work related to the field of composites includes design of hybrid steel/GFRP composites as applied to vehicle and aircraft structures for light weighting purposes and multi-objective optimization methods for tube hydroforming processes. Dr. Johrendt often volunteers as a Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Session Organizer for the World Congress. She is also an active member of engineering outreach committees in her community.

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Assessing Graduate Attributes Within a Two-Semester Capstone Design CourseHaving a two-semester Capstone Design course for students in their senior year of anundergraduate engineering degree program affords the opportunity to assess many attributes asstudents ready themselves for graduation. This paper will explore how graduate attributes(GrAtts), as defined by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), are assessedwithin a Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design course. Assessment of GrAtts is necessary forCEAB accreditation, not only for demonstrating that students have been exposed to and assessedon these attributes, but it also enables continuous improvement activities within programs. TheMechanical Engineering Capstone Design course deliverables and evaluation methods have beendeveloped to incorporate many of the GrAtts within the activities necessary for completing thecourse. Specifically, this course assesses the GrAtts of Problem Analysis, Investigation, Design,Individual and Team Work, Communication Skills, Professionalism, Economics and ProjectManagement, and Lifelong Learning. Standard assessments were developed for a diverse set ofprojects supervised by multiple faculty members who assess the deliverables. Grading rubrictemplates were developed to help standardize the grading of the projects by various facultymembers. Overall, defining a common set of course deliverables and grading rubrics across theprojects was found to be beneficial. The assessments provided useful data on the achievement ofthe GrAtts. This course has used these deliverables and assessments for one academic year.Based on faculty and student feedback, adjustments to the rubrics are being made in preparationfor subsequent offerings of the course. Finally, this paper will discuss how GrAtts assessmentdata can be used in the continuous improvement activities for curriculum development within theMechanical Engineering undergraduate degree program.

Stagner, J. A., & Johrendt, J. L. (2015, June), Assessing Graduate Attributes Within a Two-Semester Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23581

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