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Skills Assessment In Hands On Learning

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Learning Styles

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1002.1 - 7.1002.10



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Knight

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Jacquelyn Sullivan

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Lawrence Carlson

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

Main Menu Session 2430

Skills Assessment in Hands-On Learning and Implications for Gender Differences in Engineering Education

Daniel W. Knight, Jacquelyn F. Sullivan, Susan J. Poole and Lawrence E. Carlson

Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory and Program College of Engineering and Applied Science University of Colorado at Boulder


A comprehensive course evaluation plan is a helpful tool for the development and revision of new curricula. One component of an evaluation plan is the assessment o f student skill development. This paper describes one type of skills assessment — student self-estimates of skill — in a first-year engineering projects course. The Skills Assessment Inventory for this course was developed by translating the course objectives into six measurement scales. One hundred sixty-two, first-year students completed the Skills Assessment Inventory at the beginning and end of the semester. This paper provides discussion of the significant differences between the pre-test and post-test scores as well as significant differences between genders on the Skills Assessment Inventory scales.


Hands-on curricula have been found to be an effective method for teaching engineering concepts.1 In the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL) and Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, hands-on curricula are an integral part of lower division engineering projects courses and K-12 engineering outreach programs. 2 3 An extensive evaluation plan has been developed to investigate the efficacy of these curricula. One component of this evaluation plan is the assessment of student skill development. This type of assessment is accomplished by several methods, including instructor assessment, peer assessment, and self- assessment. The present study focused on student self-assessment of skills in the ITLL First- Year Engineering Projects course.

Student skill self-assessment is a useful component of the projects course evaluation plan. Instructors from a wide range of engineering disciplines offer at least 12 sections of the course annually. Additionally, the nature of the design/build projects and grading methods both vary with the instructor and course section. Given these variables, student self-assessments on a standardized inventory offer a method for making comparisons across sections on achievement of course goals. Student self-assessments provide an alternate perspective to instructor assessment and give students the opportunity to provide feedback on their own development. Student self-assessments also provide an opportunity to assess demographic differences. For this

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Knight, D., & Sullivan, J., & Carlson, L. (2002, June), Skills Assessment In Hands On Learning Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10804

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