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Assessing Student Outcomes In An Engineering Design And Graphics Course

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Assessment of Graphics Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.241.1 - 8.241.21



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Krueger

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Theodore Aanstoos

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Ronald Barr

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

Session 2238

Assessing Student Outcomes in an Engineering Design and Graphics Course

Ronald E. Barr, Thomas J. Krueger, and Theodore A. Aanstoos

Mechanical Engineering Department The University of Texas at Austin


The Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin has embarked on systemic educational reform throughout the curriculum. Called PROCEED, for Project-Centered Education, this curriculum reform is an attempt to bring real-world projects into the classroom that underscore the need to learn fundamental principles while adding excitement and relevance to the experience. The “Engineering Design and Graphics” course at the University of Texas is an integral part of PROCEED. This freshman course emphasizes the development of a 3-D geometric computer model and application of this digital database to all phases of the design process. The students make freehand sketches, build computer models, mate assemblies of parts, perform various analyses, create kinematics simulations, build rapid prototypes, and generate final design drawings. An assessment of student outcomes in the course was conducted in the Fall 2002 semester using a series of self-reported learning surveys. This paper depicts examples of class work that support these graphics learning activities and presents the results of these preliminary surveys, which universally showed a positive learning trend in the course.


The freshman “Engineering Design and Graphics” course at the University of Texas at Austin continues to evolve from its inception many decades ago. In its early days, and up until about 1985, the course was primarily a drafting course that taught engineering students how to make manual board drawings and how to solve spatial geometry problems. The advent of affordable desktop computers ushered in a short-lived era of “electronic” drafting. In the 1990’s, the Engineering Graphics program at the University of Texas at Austin received a series of NSF education grants1-3 to develop a new graphics curriculum based on 3-D solid modeling principles. It was in this era that the core element of the course changed from making an orthographic drawing to building a 3-D computer model. This recent era also slowly unveiled the important applications of the 3-D model to engineering analysis, manufacturing, and downstream documentation. Low-cost analysis, simulation, and rapid prototyping software and hardware systems are now becoming available for educational purposes, and the power of this latest design paradigm is now being realized by the engineering design and graphics education community4-8.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Krueger, T., & Aanstoos, T., & Barr, R. (2003, June), Assessing Student Outcomes In An Engineering Design And Graphics Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12616

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