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Structuring Capstone Design Assessment to Achieve Student, Faculty, and Employer Priorities

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1409.1 - 26.1409.17



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Paper Authors


Denny Davis Ohio State University

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Dr. Davis is Visiting Professor in the Engineering Education Innovation Center at The Ohio State University and Emeritus Professor in Engineering Education at Washington State University. For three decades, he has led multi-institution teams in the development and testing of curriculum materials and assessments for engineering design courses. He is the owner of Verity Design Learning LLC, a publisher of workbooks for design reviews and teamwork development. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

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Peter Rogers The Ohio State University

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Dr. Peter Rogers is a Professor of Practice in the Engineering Education Innovation Center at The Ohio State University. He joined the university in October 2008, bringing with him 35 years of industrial experience. His career includes senior leadership roles in engineering, sales, and manufacturing developing products using multidisciplinary teams to convert customer needs to commercially viable products and services.
Rogers co-led the development of an ABET-approved year-long Capstone design experience. With a focus on providing students with a broader experience base, the multidisciplinary program applies teams of engineers, business, design, and other students to work with Ohio companies to help them be more competitive and with local non-profits to help them become self-sustaining. Rogers recently expanded this one-year program to a four-year Integrated Engineering and Business (IBE) honors program.
Rogers earned his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, focused on mechanical engineering and manufacturing.

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Structuring Capstone Design Assessment to Achieve Student, Faculty, and Employer Priorities Abstract Capstone design courses provide an excellent context for authentic assessment of many technical and professional outcomes achieved by engineering students. Many of the student outcomes that must be demonstrated for program accreditation by ABET are developed and evidenced in capstone projects. In addition, many of the high priority knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) identified by engineering employers in the recent Transforming Undergraduate Engineering Education (TUEE) report* are naturally evidenced in capstone projects. But how many different outcomes can be assessed well in capstone courses while also achieving important student objectives, faculty objectives, and employer objectives? This paper presents a structure for prescribing assessment in capstone design courses to meet the following criteria: 1. Meets conditions that can lead to valid assessment of the selected outcomes 2. Focuses on outcomes vital to the success of capstone projects and teams 3. Addresses outcomes of high importance to engineering professional work 4. Integrates assessment with engineering products common to capstone courses 5. Minimizes “extra work” seen by students and instructors. This paper describes the process used to select and specify details of assessments meeting the criteria listed above. Results of the TUEE report and a workshop of capstone design faculty are utilized in establishing priorities for outcomes to be assessed. The paper defines outcomes best assessed in capstone design courses, identifies the purpose and type and timing of appropriate assessments, proposes key assessment questions, and offers rubrics for each assessment question. This paper presents an integrated model for assessment in capstone courses and invites discussion from capstone design instructors that can lead to development of a transferable set of assessments for capstone courses. Such a set of measures of student achievement, when validated, will enable the capstone design faculty to make informed curricular changes that improve preparation of engineering graduates for the challenges of this century.*ASEE. Transforming Undergraduate Education of Engineers -- Phase I: Synthesizing and Integrating Industry Perspectives. Washington, DC: American Society for Engineering Education, 2013.

Davis, D., & Rogers, P. (2015, June), Structuring Capstone Design Assessment to Achieve Student, Faculty, and Employer Priorities Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24746

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