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Assessment Framework For Capstone Design Courses

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessing Design Coursework

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

11.249.1 - 11.249.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/842

Download Count

51

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Paper Authors

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Steven Beyerlein University of Idaho

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Steven Beyerlein is professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho, where he coordinates the Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering capstone design program and where he regularly participates in ongoing program assessment activities. For these efforts he won the UI Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001. He has been an active participant in the Transferable Integrated Design Engineering Education (TIDEE) Consortium for the last five years and collaborates with other authors on the NSF/ASA grant.

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Denny Davis Washington State University

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Denny Davis is professor of Bioengineering at Washington State University where he directs the Transferable Integrated Design Engineering Education (TIDEE) Consortium as well as the Engineering Education Research Center. He is the lead investigator on the NSF/ASA grant.

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Phillip Thompson Seattle University

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Phil Thompson teaches at Seattle University where he is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and where he teaches a capstone design course in his discipline. He has been active in TIDEE activities for the last five years and collaborates with the other authors on the NSF/ASA grant.

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Michael Trevisan Washington State University

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Michael Trevisan is director of the Assessment and Evaluation Center within the College of Education at Washington State University. He has been instrumental in instilling best practices from educational research in TIDEE curriculum and assessment initiatives.

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Olakunle Harrison Tuskegee University

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Kunle Harrison is associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tuskegee University where he oversees the capstone design program. He has been active in TIDEE activities for the last two years and collaborates with the other authors on the NSF/ASA grant.

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

Assessment Framework for Capstone Design Courses

Abstract

This paper describes a framework for developing and implementing assessment instruments in capstone engineering design courses. The framework provides a structure for aligning learning outcomes, methods for examining performance related to these outcomes, and providing feedback that improves student learning in these outcome areas. The framework incorporates three different perspectives—that of the educational researcher, the student learner, and the professional practitioner. The paper concludes by highlighting which framework components inform different steps in a methodology currently being used to create sound, broadly-applicable, and efficient assessment instruments for capstone design courses.

Introduction

Engineering design is recognized as a vehicle for cultivating many of the practical skills needed for engineering practice1. A number of assessment approaches have been proposed for measuring achievement of engineering design outcomes2. Researchers have reported on important educational questions, but their methods are disconnected from practical day-to-day use in the workplace or the design studio3,4,5,6. Authors who have explored issues in program assessment have used design journals and student portfolios to assess design team skills as well as attributes of design products7,8,9. There are also some assessment tools that are highly student- centered and provide real-time feedback10. However, these are not wrapped around long-term project work.

A national survey of capstone engineering design instructors indicates that most use a collection of custom-designed, single-purpose assessments that are not well-integrated with one another and are largely untested for reliability or validity11. This led participants in the Transferable Integrated Design Engineering Education (TIDEE) consortium to shift their focus from articulation between 2-year and 4-year programs12,13,14 to capstone course assessment15,16. In 2004, TIDEE received a National Science Foundation grant to develop transferable assessment for capstone engineering design courses. This research project responds to the need for a deeper, richer, more rigorous definition of the knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes that are important to engineering practice.

The assessment framework presented here was informed by a review of published literature on design assessment2 and input from a ten-member focus group that met twice over the last two years17. The focus group brought together diverse perspectives related to engineering practice, engineering design education, and assessment. Disciplines of mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, industrial engineering, bioengineering, and educational assessment were represented in the focus group. Employers included private educational institutions, public universities, minority-serving universities, a major corporation, and the National Academy of Engineering.

Beyerlein, S., & Davis, D., & Thompson, P., & Trevisan, M., & Harrison, O. (2006, June), Assessment Framework For Capstone Design Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/842

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015