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Homework Assignment Self-Grading: Perspectives from a Civil Engineering Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Innovation and Fun in the Civil Engineering Classroom

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kevin Chang P.E. University of Idaho, Moscow

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Kevin Chang, Ph.D., P.E., is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho, where he is focusing on traffic operations and safety, transportation security, and engineering education. Prior to his current position, Kevin was a traffic engineer with the King County Department of Transportation where he managed the Traffic Management Center and supervised the implementation of neighborhood transportation plans, livable communities, and pedestrian and school safety programs. Kevin is the past Chair of the ITE Transportation Education Council, member of the TRB Safety Management Committee, and Past President for the Washington State Section of ITE. He is registered as a Professional Engineer in Washington, Idaho, and California, and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Washington.

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One of the inherent challenges with student learning is gauging the degree to which that learning is occurring in real-time. For this reason, the assignment of homework problems serves as one way to determine how well the student is comprehending the information provided during in-class lectures and following their own self-study of assigned reading materials. The homework assignment also enables the professor to determine, to some degree, how well individual students and the class as a whole seem to be comprehending the information. The task of grading homework assignments, however, can be extremely challenging and time-consuming, particularly if there are a significant number of students taking the course and if the type of problem makes it difficult to grade. For example, long-answer problem sets, common in most engineering courses, take considerably longer to review and grade than multiple choice or true-false-type questions.) As a case study, junior-level students taking the Fundamentals of Transportation Engineering course at the University of Idaho were required to self-grade their homework assignments and the professor and teaching assistant subsequently reviewed the appropriateness of each student’s self-grading and their individual level of effort. This paper will discuss: how this process was administered, the challenges associated with this approach, student feedback based on this form of assessment, lessons learned from both the perspective of the teaching assistant and the professor, and key administrative and organizational aspects that must be in place in order for homework assignment self-grading to be both effective for the student and manageable for the teaching assistant or professor.

Chang, K. (2019, June), Homework Assignment Self-Grading: Perspectives from a Civil Engineering Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32888

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