Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Traditional grading can be a common source of frustration for engineering faculty. Allocating points consistently for partially correct work is a constant struggle and leaves something to be desired. The lines between different grades certainly become grayed, and it seems possible that a student can receive a passing grade in a course without ever answering a single problem correctly. Specification grading is a novel approach to grading that provides solutions to some of the common frustrations with traditional grading. Specification grading requires instructors to define assignment, project, test, or even course level specifications. These specifications are often linked to core course competencies or outcomes. Student work for the course is assessed pass/fail depending on if the relevant specification was met or not. With this approach, students are given a clear picture of what must be demonstrated for certain grades and given the freedom to select which grade they would like to pursue. Instructors are given confidence that a student receiving a passing grade has demonstrated at least some basic level of competency for the course. This paper provides a review of the application of specification grading for two iterations of an undergraduate reinforced concrete design course. Student work is compared between the two enhanced versions of the course and that of a traditional approach. Students were also surveyed to determine their perception of the enhanced specification course versus that of other traditional courses they have taken in the past. Finally, this paper includes a reflection of the implementation of specification grading, a reflection on the appropriate competencies for reinforced concrete design, and the potential benefits for use in broader civil engineering education.
Lovell, M. D. (2018, June), Board 44: Defining and Assessing Competencies in an Undergraduate Reinforced Concrete Design Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30034
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