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Developing a Behavior-Based Rubric for Assessing Professional Skills During Hiring

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

The Intersection of Higher Ed and Industry

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Nikitha Sambamurthy Purdue University - West Lafayette

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Nikitha Sambamurthy is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University - West Lafayette

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Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair in newly created Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. Prior to this appointment, she was a Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University, the Inaugural Director of the College of Engineering's Leadership Minor, and the Director of the International Institute of Engineering Education Assessment (i2e2a). In 2013, she became founder and owner of STEMinent LLC, a company focused on STEM education assessment and professional development for stakeholders in K-12 education, higher education, and Corporate America. Her research is focused upon the use of mixed methodologies to explore significant research questions in undergraduate, graduate, and professional engineering education, to integrate concepts from higher education and learning science into engineering education, and to develop and disseminate reliable and valid assessment tools for use across the engineering education continuum.

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Modern engineers are expected to possess strong leadership, creativity, and communication skills in addition to being technically savvy (NAE, n.d.). A recent trend in the engineering hiring process is the inclusion of team-building games used to analyze engineering candidates for professional skills. Current methods of evaluating candidates, such as behavioral interviews, are subjected to bias, with evaluators scoring candidates based on broad and inconsistent definitions of traits, and their own perceptions of how well candidates demonstrate these traits (Personal Communication, Engineering Human Resource Manager, 2014).

This paper describes a research-informed process for creating a valid and reliable rubric for assessing professional skills in hiring. Step-by-step comparisons are made between rubric development in academic and industry settings, along with a guide for utilizing and analyzing survey responses to inform rubric development, and conducting inter-rater reliability with rubrics. Implications from this guide contribute to further understandings of rubric development in industry.

Sambamurthy, N., & Cox, M. F. (2016, June), Developing a Behavior-Based Rubric for Assessing Professional Skills During Hiring Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27288

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