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Assessing Student Learning For A Materials, Manufacturing & Design Lab

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.111.1 - 3.111.11



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Edmund Tsang

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

Session 1526

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING FOR A MATERIALS, MANUFACTURING & DESIGN LAB Edmund Tsang Mechanical Engineering Department, University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688


A method to assess student learning in engineering design for a Materials, Manufacturing & Design laboratory course at the University of South Alabama is described in this paper. This method uses faculty assessment and student self-assessment, as well as the correlation between the results of the two assessments. Assessment by faculty is based on written design report, lab reports, and homework evaluated by the course instructor, and project oral presentation evaluated by another faculty other than the course instructor. Assessment by students is based on an anonymous retrospective survey and written comments. Assessment results based on 70 students over a two-year period show strong correlation between assessment by faculty and self-assessment by students in demonstrating student learning. The results also seem to indicate that this is a workable assessment method to evaluate student learning engineering design for small engineering departments such as the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of South Alabama.


A Materials, Manufacturing & Design lab for sophomore students was developed and implemented at the University of South Alabama with a grant from the National Science Foundation Instrumentation & Laboratory Improvement (ILI) program in Fall, 1995. The laboratory course uses a discovery approach to teach students about some concepts of materials science and manufacturing to carry out a design project involving mechanical forming. The design project consists of the design and production of Mardi Gras medallions. Since the Mardi Gras tradition was started in Mobile, Alabama, this design project provides a local tie-in to the student's learning experience. Details of the course have been described elsewhere1.

Unlike engineering analysis, assessing student learning in engineering design poses a special challenge because there are usually more than one "correct" answer in design. Also, the feeling by the faculty of a personal stake in the outcome of the design project can influence the instructor in evaluating student learning.

A method to evaluate student learning in engineering design that employs more than one instrument and that looks at the correlation between the results of multiple

Tsang, E. (1998, June), Assessing Student Learning For A Materials, Manufacturing & Design Lab Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6928

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