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Improved Pedagogy Enabled by Assessment Using Gradescope

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Assessment of Student Learning – New Engineering Educators Division

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

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Paper Authors


Sara A. Atwood Elizabethtown College

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Dr. Sara A. Atwood is an Associate Professor and Chair of Engineering at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She holds a BA and MS from Dartmouth College, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Atwood’s research interests are in creativity, engineering design, first-generation and low-income students, internship experiences, and criterion-based course structures.

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Arjun Singh Gradescope

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As engineering educators, one of our most important, but often least liked, roles is that of grader: creating assignments to develop and measure proficiency on fundamental skills, providing effective feedback on those assignments, and assigning a fair and meaningful grade representing achievement. In our role as grader, we must often balance our desire to provide the most instructive practice-feedback experience with the amount of time it takes to grade.

The web-based tool Gradescope supports grading quickly, equitably, and flexibly while providing detailed feedback to students. I have used this rubric-based digital grading tool on exams in two upper-level mechanical engineering courses over two successive cohorts and want to share key features that may appeal to both new and experienced engineering educators to support improved pedagogy. These include the ability to:

• grade student submissions online in any location, • change the point value associated with a particular mistake once and apply to the entire population, • quickly ‘tag' similar mistakes instead of rewriting the same comment, • retain a digital record of the student work, and • return feedback digitally outside of classroom time.

Also, this grading tool has allowed me to implement a more intentional standards-based approach to my assessment of student learning, teaching, and program-level outcomes. Within the rubric-based grading framework, I can easily identify the competencies for a particular topic, and therefore target assignments and student study efforts more efficiently. Using the automatically generated summary of mistakes, I have revisited topics and cleared up misunderstandings. Instead of providing the right answer, I identify the error and allow students to attempt the problem again for credit. Finally, I have used competency-tagging features to streamline my ABET outcomes assessment.

Using this model, engineering educators can transform how effectively they grade and give feedback in their courses.

Atwood, S. A., & Singh, A. (2018, June), Improved Pedagogy Enabled by Assessment Using Gradescope Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30627

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