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Exploring A Valid And Reliable Assessment Of Engineering And Technology Education Learning In The Classroom

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Assessment of K-12 Engineering Programs & Issues

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.562.1 - 15.562.67



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Paper Authors


Marcelo Caplan Columbia College

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Associate professor at the Science and Mathematics Department, Columbia College Chicago. In addition to teaching responsibilities, Mr. Caplan participates in the outreach programs and activities of the department through its Science Institute and coordinated several of those programs. Actually the main focus is his work to develop programs to bring science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) to the community through their after school activities, to promote urban youth to be scientific literate and to motivate them to pursue future careers in STEM related subject

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

Title: Exploring a Valid and Reliable Assessment of Engineering and Technology Education Learning in the Classroom.


It is common knowledge that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) created a system of accountability that established a baseline for determining school success. To assess student performance, NCBL uses the results of standardized assessments in traditional disciplines.

Since engineering and technology education is not one of the traditional disciplines, only 12 states have engineering and technology education as a requirement .In International Technology Education Association (ITEA) report on the status of technology education in the U.S in 2004, it is clear that there is an interest to include engineering and technology education as part of the overall learning experience.

Some of the possible reasons why engineering and technology education are not one of the core subjects are: the limited established academic structures, lack of qualified teachers, clear assessments policies and instruments and administrative conflicts. In order for engineering and technology education to be accepted as a core subject among others, it will be necessary to address the mentioned issues. Critics complain regarding the lack of valid and reliable assessment methodologies, therefore it is necessary for the educational community, to explore and develop valid and reliable assessment tools specific for engineering and technology education.

When teaching engineering and technology, the expectation is that students will demonstrate their acquired knowledge through the design of projects that will serve as an alternative assessment. To encourage the creativity of the students, it is desirable to use self-directed projects, where students decide and select the project they will design, which will be then graded through a rubric. The structure and assessment protocol for the self-directed project will be introduced and discussed in conjunction with samples of different projects produced by students at the college level in the “Science and Technology in the Arts” course at a urban art and media communication liberal arts and science college. This structure includes 1) a procedure to guide students in the generation of the “Definition of the project”, 2) the generation of a valid and reliable rubric to assess the project and 3) instructions for the evaluators on how to use the assessment tool.

The analysis of the data collected by the writer during the past two years shows a strong correlation between the students’, quizzes and final examination, with the grade of their self-selected project.

In conclusion, it is possible to develop and implement a model that will allow engineering and technology education instructors to assess the content, skills and values learned by their students when each student is working in a self-selected project. This model will make possible for the instructor to objectively assess what the students know with a strong level of validity and reliability.

Literature review The written test has long been used as a major tool for learning assessment in the past, and is still today, the most prevailing assessment method in education. In written tests, students either select responses from a given pool of possible responses (multiple choice tests) or respond to an item within a certain structure 1 (short answer or essay tests). Although varieties exist within different types of written tests, they are generally easy to construct and use, which makes them valid and

Caplan, M. (2010, June), Exploring A Valid And Reliable Assessment Of Engineering And Technology Education Learning In The Classroom Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16034

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