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Capstone Design Grading On Time And On Target

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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

Capstone Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.281.1 - 8.281.11



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Paper Authors

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Craig Quadrato

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Ronald Welch

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

Session 2425

Grading Capstone Designs: On Time and On Target

Major Craig Quadrato, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald W. Welch United States Military Academy


ABET criteria, emergency response and prevention, and an ever increasing demand for impacting the production schedule is accelerating the need for engineers to become broad-based leaders instead of just highly trained technicians. In order to prepare engineering students for such an environment, design courses are more routinely requiring students to complete open- ended, real-life design problems. Such problems require a different grading process than those that have an easily defined solution. This paper explains how, through the use of a blended criteria and norm based assessment and evaluation process, to clearly communicate standards and outcomes, fairly grade dissimilar designs, and effectively encourage continuous improvement of design products. Evidence of these outcomes will be assessed through the statistical analysis of student feedback from the United States Military Academy.


United States Military Academy (USMA) civil engineering majors are required to complete a one-semester capstone design project as a requirement for graduation. The capstone design provides the best integrated experience to assess student performance on the USMA Civil Engineering program objectives listed in Figure 1.

Civil Engineering Program Objectives Supported by the Capstone Design

• Application of engineering thought process to design CE components and systems • Creativity • Proficiency in structural engineering • Proficiency in environmental engineering • Proficiency in hydrology & hydraulic engineering • Proficiency in geotechnical engineering • Proficiency in mathematics • Proficiency in calculus-based physics • Functioning on multidisciplinary teams • Understanding and performance of roles and responsibilities of civil engineers and the issues / professional practice • Use of modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice • Effective writing • Effective speaking • Broad education /understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global/societal context • Preparation for and willingness to pursue continued intellectual and professional growth

Figure 1. CE Program Objectives Supported by the Capstone Design

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

Quadrato, C., & Welch, R. (2003, June), Capstone Design Grading On Time And On Target Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12484

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