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Potential Uses Of On Line Performance Assessments In Engineering Education: Measuring Complex Learning Outcomes And Processes

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Conference

2001 Annual Conference

Location

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

6.783.1 - 6.783.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/9653

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Thomas Harmon

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Eva Baker

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Gregory Chung

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

Session 3530

Potential Uses of On-Line Performance Assessments in Engineering Education: Measuring Complex Learning Outcomes and Processes

Gregory K.W.K. Chung1, Thomas C. Harmon2, Eva L. Baker1 1 National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, University of California, Los Angeles 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract

Modern engineering education is undergoing significant changes, particularly in the way engineering schools are adopting problem-based instruction to meet the changing demands of practice. Increasingly, engineering schools are requiring students to work on team projects that are open-ended with loosely specified requirements, produce professional-quality reports and presentations, consider ethics and the impact of their field on society, and develop lifelong learning practices. While there exist numerous implementations of courses adopting these methods to purportedly improve student learning, measuring the impact of problem-based instruction remains challenging. The existing evidence generally suffers from methodological shortcomings such as reliance on students’ self-reported perceptions of learning (vs. more direct measures of learning), use of instructors’ anecdotal reports of impact (vs. experimental manipulation), use of untested (vs. validated) measures, and small sample sizes.

This paper discusses the potential role of computer-based performance assessments in evaluating student learning on complex, open-ended problem-solving tasks. The discussion is framed within the research on computer-based performance assessments developed at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). Examples of three kinds of on-line performance assessments are presented as well as lessons learned.

I. Changes in Modern Engineering Education

Modern engineering education is undergoing significant changes, notably in the way engineering schools are adopting problem-based instruction to meet the changing demands of engineering practice1-7. Mastery of technical content is no longer sufficient. Increasingly, engineering schools are requiring students to work on team projects that are open-ended with loosely specified requirements, produce professional-quality reports and presentations, consider ethics and the impact of their field on society, and develop lifelong learning practices.

An implicit goal of this shift in curricula is to produce graduates who will be ready to assume engineering tasks upon graduation—that is, with the skills to develop solutions to problems under

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Harmon, T., & Baker, E., & Chung, G. (2001, June), Potential Uses Of On Line Performance Assessments In Engineering Education: Measuring Complex Learning Outcomes And Processes Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9653

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