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Evaluating Student Performance In A Freshman Graphics Course To Provide Early Intervention For Students With Visualization And/Or Design Intent Difficulties

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Visualization and Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.530.1 - 7.530.13

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Paper Authors

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Douglas Baxter

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Evaluating Student Performance in a Freshman Graphics Course to Provide Early Intervention for Students with Visualization and/or Design Intent Difficulties Douglas H. Baxter

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 principles[1]. With an increasing dependence on solid modeling skills required, it is imperative that the course content in EG&CAD be effectively delivered and absorbed.

Traditionally, when evaluating students in EG&CAD, the emphasis has been threefold: the creation of parts and assemblies in given orientations, the documentation of the parts and assemblies, and the use of engineering design intent in the parts and assemblies. The first two areas of evaluation were used when engineering graphics was taught on drawing boards. Maintaining these evaluation techniques has brought continuity to the ever expanding technology that has changed how engineering graphics is presented. The use of geometry orientation and documentation are not, however, sufficient to fully evaluate a student’s performance as today’s engineering design programs all for considerable modeling of the behavior of the geometry (be it part or assembly). Equations can link dimensions between sketches, parts and assemblies. Engineering drawing annotations can change with changes to the part they document; these important concepts (commonly referred to as the design intent of the model) must be taught as industry uses design intent to control changes in their product designs [2][3].

This paper will present how engineering students in the freshman graphics classes are evaluated in the three areas of visualization, documentation, and the application of fundamental engineering relations to solid models. When students create geometry in their introductory graphics course, the geometry and documentation is subjected to a series of tests by the instructors and teaching assistants to check both the correctness and

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Baxter, D. (2002, June), Evaluating Student Performance In A Freshman Graphics Course To Provide Early Intervention For Students With Visualization And/Or Design Intent Difficulties Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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