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Rubric Development For Assessment Of Multidisciplinary Team Projects

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teamwork & Assessment in the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.996.1 - 8.996.9



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Paper Authors

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James Newell

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Kevin Dahm

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

Session 3613

Rubric Development for Assessment of Undergraduate Research: Evaluating Multidisciplinary Team Projects

Kevin D. Dahm, James A. Newell and Heidi L. Newell Department of Chemical Engineering Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 08028


At Rowan University, all engineering students participate in clinic courses involving multidisciplinary student teams working on semester-long or year-long research projects led by an engineering professor. The difficulty arises in trying to assess student learning and performance in project-based team settings. Faced with the complexity of trying to assess the attainment of learning outcomes for each individual on a team based on an unclear blend of technical merit, communication, project planning, data analysis, and teaming behaviors, faculty members and students both fall short. It is unreasonable to expect students to achieve specific learning objectives from a series of courses, when the faculty members themselves are unclear about what the learning objectives are and how to measure them

As a first effort to address the assessment of team performance in project-based research experiences, the faculty of the Chemical Engineering Department, as a pilot study, developed four primary areas of importance for assessment. Once these areas were selected, specific indicators were developed for each, so that the students would have clearly defined goals and behaviors that reflect the desired learning outcomes. Faculty assessment of these rubrics indicate that they are very effective in demystifying the evaluation process and serve to better connect the grade in the course to the stated learning objectives.


Experts agree on the importance of involving undergraduates in research-based learning [1-3] and teamwork [4-6]. The Boyer Commission suggested that research-based learning should become the standard for undergraduate education [7]. Many universities are responding to this challenge by introducing multidisciplinary laboratory or design courses [8,9]. At Rowan University, we have developed a method of addressing these diverse challenges, while also implementing valuable

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Newell, J., & Dahm, K. (2003, June), Rubric Development For Assessment Of Multidisciplinary Team Projects Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12550

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