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Improving Instruction and Assessment via Bloom’s Taxonomy and Descriptive Rubrics

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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

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kathryn R. Gosselin San Jose State University

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Kathryn R. Gosselin is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. She joined SJSU in 2015, and her research is focused on thermo-fluids problems in sustainable energy, particular the effect of turbulence on a wide variety of technologies. She teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer, and she is interested in studying the intersection of pedagogy and assessment.

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Nicole Okamoto San Jose State University

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Nicole Okamoto is professor and chair of Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research areas are thermal system modelling and thermal management of electronics. She teaches courses in the thermal sciences at SJSU and has been involved with assessment for more than a decade.

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This paper describes ongoing modifications to the ABET assessment procedures in the Mechanical Engineering Department at a large, primarily-undergraduate state institution. These changes were made with the goal of improving alignment between in-class assessment practices and ABET assessment requirements. The first major change involves reviewing and revising the Performance Indicators for all Student Learning Outcomes. Specifically, the PI’s were rephrased for strong alignment with the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, with a focus on higher order learning. The second major change is the development of descriptive rubrics for several major assessment tools. Two rubrics will be examined as examples: one for peer assessment of team members’ contributions in the program’s capstone design project and the second for a position paper on contemporary issues related to thermodynamics. Initial results from the revised rubrics showed several benefits, including ease and accuracy of assessment. Additionally, the authors suggest best practices for ensuring assessment alignment with ABET objectives by working backward from PI’s to write rubrics for assessment tools.

Gosselin, K. R., & Okamoto, N. (2018, June), Improving Instruction and Assessment via Bloom’s Taxonomy and Descriptive Rubrics Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30630

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