June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.580.1 - 13.580.5
Evaluation of Individual Performance on Group Projects
Group projects have and will continue to be common in Engineering education. As stated in ABET Criterion 3 Program Outcomes and Assessment, (d) “Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.”1 Students and instructors are accustomed to group or team oriented projects. Typically the class is divided into groups that work together toward completion of the assigned task. The project is evaluated and graded based on meeting the criteria or objectives in the problem statement. Grades assigned to each individual depend on the expectations of the instructor. The simplest approach is to assign the same grade to all members of the group regardless of the individual’s contribution to the project. Assigning grades that reflect an individual’s effort require measurement and assessment of criteria to allow differentiation within the group.
If one of the educational objectives is learning to work in groups, then evaluation of team skills should be part of the grading process. Techniques, skills, and methods of working together should be incorporated into the group project. Measurement of the student’s application of these team skills should be part of the grading process. Combining the evaluation of the project meeting the stated criteria and the individual’s ability to apply team skills should allow assignment of individual grades in a group project.
The course where these methods have been applied is a first year Engineering design and communications course taken by Associate and Baccalaureate degree students in a variety of Engineering and Engineering Technology majors. In response to the student population, the course uses a series of projects that emphasis creation of documentation including formal reports, drawings, web pages, and other presentation methods. The projects take approximately two weeks to complete with a total of four projects and a final project in a typical semester. Each project used the skills developed during the semester with the final project as the most complex with a formal report, full set of drawings, web page, presentation, and a physical model as project deliverables.
The subject matter of the projects has been dependent on the student mix, current events, and available materials. Topics have included; 1. Energy applications such as evaluation of the cost of photovoltaic solar collectors, calculation of an individual’s carbon footprint, and comparison of gasoline costs. 2. Design of a handicapped assessable residential bathroom. 3. Creating a scale model of the I35W bridge center span for testing on a universal testing machine. 4. Autonomous controlled battery powered vehicles for a race or hill climb competition. The projects were common for the entire class. If appropriate, competition was encouraged between groups. For example, designing and building the strongest bridge or the fastest vehicle.
Emphasis has been placed on the form of the deliverables, working in groups, and making decisions. Technical aspects of the projects have been minimized due to the academic level of
Carson, J. (2008, June), Evaluation Of Individual Performance On Group Projects Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4078
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