June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Design in Engineering Education
14.245.1 - 14.245.20
ASSESSING SENIOR DESIGN PROJECT DELIVERABLES
Abstract Historically at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), a grade was assigned to a senior design student at the end of each of their two semesters based on one document. Therefore, students did not know how well they were progressing in the class until the end. This method of assessment also did a poor job of validating the ABET criteria for assessing the learning objectives.
A new method of assessing student groups has been implemented concurrently with a new model that requires students to turn in "development documentation" throughout each semester. Each group's industry sponsor, faculty mentor, and course instructor grade these documents against a previously published rubric. This method of assessment provides plenty of feedback on the group's performance early in the semester. The original rubrics were inspired (and sometimes duplicated) from rubrics developed by another university.
The faculty found that the original versions of the UNC Charlotte rubrics needed modifications due to several different reasons, mostly to encourage more design content in the documentation. This paper describes the history of this program and the development of the rubrics. Versions of the currently used rubrics are included in an appendix.
1. Introduction Capstone design courses offer engineering students an opportunity to apply the skills they have learned throughout their undergraduate education to an applied engineering project. One of the main goals of the senior design course is to engage students in a project with real world implications that are similar to those they will face once the student enters the work force.
UNC Charlotte currently offers a two-semester, multi-disciplinary senior design sequence that spans all of the departments within the College of Engineering (COE). Industry-sponsored and faculty funded research efforts comprise the projects for the senior design sequence. This is particularly advantageous for the industry sponsors, since these sponsors are afforded the opportunity to initiate elective research projects in their respective areas of interest while working closely with seniors that the company may be interested in recruiting. Students prioritize their interest in available projects through analysis of posted Statements of Work and the course instructors, who represent all departments and programs in the COE, form groups with three to four students containing diverse talents that would be representative of a typical engineering team in industry.
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