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Automated Grading of First Year Student CAD Work

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Computer Based Grading and Learning Styles

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.235.1 - 23.235.11



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Paper Authors


Keith Alan Hekman California Baptist University

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Dr. Keith Hekman is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering. He has been at California Baptist University for five years. Prior to teaching at CBU, he has taught at Calvin College and the American University in Cairo. His Ph.D. is from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Mark T Gordon California Baptist University

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Work-in-Progress: Automated Grading of Student CAD Work.Introductory CAD courses typically have large enrollment. This presents a problemfor both the instructor and the student. The sheer volume of material to be gradedoccupies the professor’s time and leads to long return times for graded homework.By the time the students receive feedback about their mistakes, they no longer care.Most CAD programs can save in the AutoCAD DXF (Drawing InterchangeFormat) file format, which provides an ASCII text file containing the drawing data.A program has been written to extract geometric objects (lines, circles, arcs, etc.)for two drawing files and graphically and numerically highlight the differencesbetween the files. A grade can then be automatically determined based on theerrors in the student’s drawing compared to the drawing key for that particularassignment. Grading is done based on number of each type of object as well asnumerical accuracy of these objects’ geometry. In addition, the layer of an objectcan be compared.In the latest version of the program, the user submits the file by email. Theprogram regularly checks the email, grades the student file, and then emails thestudent the results. This gives students almost instant feedback on their drawingwhile they still care, and allows them to correct their mistakes for regrading.The program stores the grades for each assignment by the students email address ina CSV file which can later be uploaded into a course management system. Theprogram also checks the creation time of each file submitted and compares it to theother files that have been submitted for the same assignment. If a match is found,the instructor is alerted by email that plagiarism may have taken place.This paper will discuss the results of the first two semesters of using the gradingprogram in the introductory AutoCAD course at a small private university. It isanticipated that students’ scores on their homework will improve and that gradingtime will be substantially reduced. In addition, students’ scores on the initialAutoCAD test will be compared to prior semesters to evaluate the effectiveness ofthis teaching methodology. Students will also be polled to see if they believed theprogram was beneficial to their learning of AutoCAD as well as their generalexperience using the program.

Hekman, K. A., & Gordon, M. T. (2013, June), Automated Grading of First Year Student CAD Work Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19249

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