Asee peer logo

Reconciling the Student’s Deliverables with the Instructor’s Expectations in Engineering Exams

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Approaches to Assessment and Student Reflection

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Ephraim Zegeye Liberty University

visit author page

Ephraim Zegeye received his B.S., and M.S. degrees from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and his Ph.D degree from Louisiana State University. He is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at Liberty University. His research interests are development and application of composite and nanocomposites, smart structures and tactile sensors, functionally graded materials and synthesis of carbon nanomaterial and structures.

visit author page


Tom Eldredge Liberty University

visit author page

Tom Eldredge received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees all in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee. He is an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering at Liberty University. He is a Professional Engineer, licensed in the state of Connecticut. Tom Eldredge has over 25 years of experience in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, related to the power industry for design of combustion systems, cooling tower modeling, and hydro power applications. He has an interest in energy research, particularly as it relates to the thermal sciences and fluid mechanics.

visit author page

Download Paper |


In engineering assessments, exams often consist of solving problems by applying a set of principles and laws with the help of mathematics. The solutions involve multiple steps, sometimes assumptions, and may include relevant sketches. When grading such solutions, the instructor may give weights to both the thought process, appropriate reasoning presented, the sketch, and the final answer. If no clear guidance is given, students may incorrectly assume the instructor’s expectations and present solutions that are not in-line with what the instructor desires to assess. This may significantly affect a student’s grade. In an attempt to resolve this issue, guidance that explains the elements of the instructor’s expectations along with the weight of each element was provided in three engineering courses. The impact of the guidance on the students’ problem solution presentation, and their confidence in knowing the instructor’s expectation was evaluated using questionnaires. Most students stated that the guidance “brings peace” to the test taker, and helps them to organize the solution presentation, and to focus on the most important part of the problem and to demonstrate mastery of it. The guidance also helped the instructor in maintaining consistency in grading and in providing clear feedbacks.

Zegeye, E., & Eldredge, T. (2020, June), Reconciling the Student’s Deliverables with the Instructor’s Expectations in Engineering Exams Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35123

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015