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Integration and Evaluation of Peer Grading in a Graduate-level Engineering Design Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Student Feedback and Assessment in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Elissa Morris Texas A&M University

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Elissa Morris is a PhD student at Texas A&M University under the advising of Dr. Daniel A. McAdams. Her research interests include bioinspired design, origami-inspired design, and engineering education.

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Daniel A. McAdams Texas A&M University

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Dr. McAdams is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate Program Director at Texas A&M University. He joined the department in January of 2008 after serving as an Associate (2005-2007) and Assistant Professor (1999-2005) of Mechanical Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. He teaches undergraduate courses in design methods, biologically inspired design, and machine element design and graduate courses in product design and dynamics. Dr. McAdams research interests are in the area of design theory and methodology with specific focus on functional modeling; innovation in concept synthesis; biologically inspired design methods; inclusive design; and technology evolution as applied to product design. He has edited a book on biologically inspired design.

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A peer grading method is developed and integrated into a graduate-level engineering product design course. The objective of the peer grading process is to improve the students' design skillset. Students form teams to work on a design project throughout the course, applying the methods discussed in class to their specific project. Each team submits a project report in phases throughout the semester. The first two phases of the report are peer graded by themselves and two other teams in the class. Teams also grade their graders to ensure accountability and increase grading fairness and high feedback quality. To eliminate potential bias, the entire grading process is blind. Any identifying information in the reports is removed prior to peer grading and a confidential labeling system is integrated for instructor use only. The teams provide cardinal and ordinal grades for each report. To guide the grading process, students are provided with a grading rubric and a detailed report outline which informs students of required report elements. Anonymous peer evaluation of each team member within each group is also required. Thirty-two students complete a survey regarding the peer grading experience at the end of the semester. The survey provides results that qualitatively measure the efficacy of the peer grading method. Qualitative analysis of the survey responses indicate the peer grading method successfully reinforces and improves understanding of engineering design concepts. Proposals for revision and improvement of the peer grading method based on the survey results are also discussed and remain as future work.

Morris, E., & McAdams, D. A. (2017, June), Integration and Evaluation of Peer Grading in a Graduate-level Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28563

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