June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Design in Engineering Education
15.1058.1 - 15.1058.24
Senior Design: A Simple Set of Report Outlines and Evaluation Rubrics
To evaluate student performance in design courses is a challenging task. There are many different tools available and there are also a variety of tools being described in the literature. Most of these research papers focus on specific topics such as self/peer evaluation, choice of teams, choice of projects, and other very self contained aspects of design courses. This paper intends to show a set of report outlines along with evaluation tools and rubrics used in a one- semester senior design capstone course.
The author of this paper has taught the senior design capstone course in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky for several years. During this time a set of reporting outlines for the students were developed. The course is offered as a one-semester class and the students need to write a proposal, a midterm executive summary, and a final report. For all of these reports the students are given an outline to follow. The students also need to hand in self/peer evaluations three times per semester. These self/peer evaluations have been adapted from different self/peer evaluations found on the Internet as well as experienced in FIE workshops. The author has adapted/developed evaluation rubrics to grade the reports and presentations. Finally a rubric to evaluate the students’ performance and their projects on the final showcase has been developed. Graduate students, faculty, and industrial advisors have used this rubric now for several semesters to find the best-presented project of the showcase.
The author hopes that the full set of outlines along with evaluation rubrics stimulate ideas in the community to develop new and better means of teaching and evaluating the technical as well as professional skills needed by our graduating seniors.
Senior Design or Capstone courses are common for most engineering degrees. These courses provide the students with a final larger project to apply the skills – technical and professional – they have learned throughout their curriculum. Besides the obvious technical challenges the students usually face team issues as they are commonly forced to work in teams, as well as issues related to project management, written and oral communication and others. At some engineering schools like Olin College1 the curriculum is designed to train the students from the beginning in team oriented project work whereas at other schools like the University of Kentucky, where the author teaches, the curriculum is more traditionally formed and most of the courses are taught in pure lecture style with individual well defined assignments like homework, quizzes, and exams. Therefore, the final design course, which should be the “icing on the cake of the engineering education”, puts students as well as educators at these schools into a very challenging situation. For the first time during their education the students are supposed to solve a larger open-ended technical problem. At the same time they have to learn how to produce well-written reports, give excellent presentations, manage their time, deal with team members, and so forth. And faculty is facing the task to ensure the students that they actually will need all these skills, provide them
Hannemann, R. (2010, June), Senior Design: A Simple Set Of Report Outlines And Evaluation Rubrics Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16955
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