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Evaluation of Design Work and the Achievement of Learning Outcomes in Senior Capstone Courses

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Design I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.590.1 - 25.590.27



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Paper Authors

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Carl D. Sorensen Brigham Young University


Robert H. Todd Brigham Young University

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Robert H. Todd is a professor of mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University and the Founding Director of BYU’s capstone program Integrated Product and Process Design. Todd received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in mechanical engineering design, where he also received a postdoctoral fellowship, taught engineering courses, and served in department and college administration at BYU, Idaho (then Ricks College), before spending 10 years in industry in senior engineering and management positions with both the General Motors Corporation and the Michelin Tire Corporation in both the U.S. and Europe. His research and teaching interests include hybrid and hybrid/electric vehicles, manufacturing process machine design, product design, and the improvement of engineering education in a global setting. Since coming to BYU in 1989, he has been the senior author of two manufacturing processes books. One, Manufacturing Processes Reference Guide, is a best seller used thought out the world. He has also authored more than 100 technical articles with his students. He has served as a Department Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator at BYU and a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). He is a recipient of BYU’s Karl G. Maser Excellence in Teaching Award, the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Outstanding Teacher and Rudy Awards, the Department’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and BYU’s Blue Key College of Engineering and Technology Outstanding Faculty award. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, SAE, SME, and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

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Taylor Halverson Brigham Young University

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Taylor Halverson earned a double major Ph.D. at Indiana University in instructional technology and design and Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. He earned master’s degrees from Indiana University and Yale University. His bachelor’s degree was earned at BYU. Halverson spent several years working for Cisco in Silicon Valley, where he designed creative learning experiences for thousands of customer service agents spread across the globe. Halverson currently works as a Teaching and Learning Consultant at BYU, assisting faculty members to enhance the student learning experience. He also is a part-time faculty member at BYU, teaching a variety of courses including “The History of Creativity in the Arts, Sciences, and Technology,” and a part-time faculty member at Capella University, teaching online Ph.D. learners in instructional technology and design. Halverson regularly presents at academic conferences and has a published a book on instructional design theory and practice.

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Evaluation of Design work and The Achievement of Learning Outcomes in Senior Capstone CoursesThe two-semester Mechanical Engineering Capstone course at XXX was created in 1990 to helpstudents learn a structured design process and to assist them in developing design skills for doingthe practice of engineering. Course outcomes have been established based on stakeholder inputand students receive classroom instruction as well as project design work on projects provided byindustry sponsors. To date more than 575 design and build projects have been completed formore than 300 industry project sponsors with more than 3500 mechanical, electrical,manufacturing and other students working in multidisciplinary teams.One of the more significant challenges in offering a course of this type is the method used toevaluate student work. Students are typically very interested in their grades and faculty areinterested in accurately and fairly assessing student work as it relates to the achievement ofcourse outcomes by students. This can be particularly challenging when much of the studentwork is performed working in teams.This paper presents XXX’s Capstone course outcomes, a set of functional specifications for anevaluation method, as well as a method we have designed, used and modified over many years toevaluate student achievement of these outcomes. Also included is an analysis of studentfeedback concerning their perceptions of the evaluation method, including its accuracy, fairnessand practicality.

Sorensen, C. D., & Todd, R. H., & Halverson, T. (2012, June), Evaluation of Design Work and the Achievement of Learning Outcomes in Senior Capstone Courses Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21347

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