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Automating An Introductory Computer Aided Design Course To Improve Student Evaluation

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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

8.258.1 - 8.258.9



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Paper Authors

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Michael Guerci

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Douglas Baxter

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


Automating an Introductory Computer Aided Design Course to Improve Student Evaluation Douglas H. Baxter Director CAD/CAM/CAE

Michael J. Guerci Senior Teaching Assistant

School of Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


All engineering students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are required to take a one- credit course in solid modeling. This course, Engineering Graphics and Computer Aided Design (EG&CAD) teaches the skills of using a solid modeling system to create parts, small assemblies, and documentation. More importantly, EG&CAD also emphasizes the use of vectors in creating solid models and thereby provides students reinforcement of their linear algebra knowledge. The students normally take EG&CAD during their freshman year and then have the opportunity to use solid modeling in their sophomore and senior design projects as well as some special topic electives. In addition, several other courses are now using solid models as a way to demonstrate fundamental principles1. With an increasing dependence on solid modeling skills required, it is imperative that the course content in EG&CAD be effectively delivered and evaluated.

Finding the teaching staff to run EG&CAD for 750-800 students/year has always been a challenge. EG&CAD runs twelve to twenty sections each semester; concerns about equality of instruction and evaluation between the sections always existed. Over the last ten years, several methods of instruction and teaching material have been developed to help ensure the uniformity of the learning experience for the students[2][3][4][5][6][7]. In the last year, the focus of the course development has been on providing intervention to students who struggle in the early lessons[2]. In this paper, the software implementation developed to provide students with immediate feedback to their laboratory work is discussed. By writing macro programs in Visual Basic and taking advantage of the Advanced Programming Interface (API) available in the software tools used in EG&CAD, the student will be able to submit their computer work (such as parts, assemblies or engineering drawings) to a database for evaluation. In addition, if students are struggling with certain key concepts in the course, then the software can flag their instructor to provide intervention.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Guerci, M., & Baxter, D. (2003, June), Automating An Introductory Computer Aided Design Course To Improve Student Evaluation Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11479

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