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Project Based Introduction To Engineering Course Assessment

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1021.1 - 9.1021.11



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Paper Authors

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Samuel Daniels

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Bouzid Aliane

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Jean Nocito-Gobel

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Michael Collura

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

Session 1969

Project-Based Introduction to Engineering – Course Assessment

Samuel Daniels, Michael Collura, Bouzid Aliane, Jean Nocito-Gobel School of Engineering & Applied Science, University of New Haven


The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of New Haven has a newly developed project-based Introduction to Engineering course. This new course plays a central role in the new Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral curriculum as the first semester course for all engineering freshman1. An assessment process was developed to determine the effectiveness of this project-based course, specifically with attention towards assessing attitudes, impact on retention, problem-solving and engineering foundation topics. This paper addresses the particular portion of the assessment process for the individual course projects and their contribution to the last two assessment categories.


The EAS107P Introduction to Engineering (Project-Based) class uses five major projects to develop an understanding of the engineering disciplines and specific topical content associated with each. The five current projects are: bridge design, solid modeling, mobile robotics, fuel cells, and embedded controllers. The fifth project was not implemented during the pilots but will be implemented in the fall 2004. Each project develops different types of problem-solving skills, conceptual and analytic understanding of engineering disciplines. Additional projects will be added regularly to expand the content areas to cover as many fields of engineering as possible. A detailed description of this class is presented elsewhere2.

Project assessment is based on a set of objectives and outcomes that are both multi-disciplinary and disciplinary specific. The projects incorporate concepts and terminology necessary for completion and layered upon with further content and applications in later courses. Assessment of student understanding of concepts and terminology measures the degree to which outcomes and objectives are met. For example, in the bridge design project the concepts and terminology include: trusses, resolving of forces (intuitively), tension and compression failure, economic considerations in design, and iterative design for optimization.

For the pilot versions of the course offered in the fall 2003 semester, we chose to assess two major projects with the intent of developing a reasonable methodology that could be applied to all of the EAS107P sections in fall 2004. For each project, specific assessments of related concepts and terminology was done prior to the start and after the completion of the project. The pre-tests helped to establish the student’s background, preparation and allow for further tailoring of the projects to better suit the needs of the students. The post-tests attempted to measure the incremental improvements due to the project. Assessments are designed to track individual students and class progress and thus far the results seem promising.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Daniels, S., & Aliane, B., & Nocito-Gobel, J., & Collura, M. (2004, June), Project Based Introduction To Engineering Course Assessment Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13357

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