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Assessment Of An Introduction To Engineering And Problem Solving 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 Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.245.1 - 8.245.27



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Paper Authors

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Joni Spurlin

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Jerome Lavelle

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Sarah Rajala

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Mary Clare Robbins

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

Session 3230

Assessment of Introduction to Engineering and Problem-Solving Course

Joni E. Spurlin, Jerome P. Lavelle, Mary Clare Robbins, and Sarah A. Rajala

Office of Academic Affairs College of Engineering North Carolina State University Campus Box 7904 Raleigh, NC 27695-7904


At North Carolina State University, the freshmen’s first course in engineering is E101, Introduction to Engineering and Problem-Solving. It is offered each fall to over 1,100 first year engineering students. In an effort to continuously improve the course, we put into place a plan to assess the course's learning outcomes. Assessment data collected in fall 2001 and fall 2002 through surveys, rubrics, and class assignments were evaluated to determine how well students met learning outcomes related to communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. This paper presents the assessment methods used in this course and provides examples of how the assessment findings were used to modify the course. The assessment procedures developed for this course can be modified for use in any course, regardless of its size, and will illustrate how course assessment can be used to make course and program improvements.

Model for Assessment

Last year, we presented a model for assessment that describes what data to gather, where to obtain the data, what criteria may be most appropriate when interpreting the data, how to use the results to make improvements in program and how to document the process.1 The present paper illustrates how that model can be implemented to assess the E101 Introduction to Engineering and Problem -Solving course. The assessment model can be summarized into four major steps: Step 1: Defining program mission, objectives, and outcomes; Step 2: Developing an assessment plan to assess the program objectives and outcomes with linkages to curriculum issues and implementation; Step 3: Gathering the data into a database; Step 4: Interpreting the data to determine program effectiveness and implementing

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education 1

Spurlin, J., & Lavelle, J., & Rajala, S., & Robbins, M. C. (2003, June), Assessment Of An Introduction To Engineering And Problem Solving Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12317

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