June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Design in Engineering Education
Rubrics are valuable teaching and learning tools that allow for faculty and students to evaluate project work and use the results as formative or summative assessments of learning and application. As part of a research project focused on improving student learning and application of sustainable design concepts, the research team is developing a validated rubric for faculty and students to evaluate student design projects. In this study, student users applied the rubric, which has been validated for content, to preliminary capstone projects as formative assessment. Junior engineering students in a second-semester capstone course at a mid-sized comprehensive university applied the Sustainable Design Rubric to their in-progress capstone projects as a homework assignment. The assignment was given to 70 students across 15 teams for completion credit and 51 students consented to having their work included in this research study. The students first evaluated their project with respect to a subset of criteria (nine pre-assigned criteria per student) and then as a team discussed consensus scores for their project across all fourteen criteria. Students documented both their scores and their justifications for the individual and consensus scores. Finally, the students answered eleven reflection questions, both open-ended and Likert scale, about the experience of using the rubric and its value to improving (or not) their projects. Ultimately, 47 students completed the rubric scoring and all of the reflection questions. The research team reviewed and rated the quality of students’ individual justifications for each criterion and compared those results to the students’ self-reported rating of ease and difficulty of applying criteria and value of the consensus process. From the scoring results and the reflection questions, students had the most difficulty rating and justifying the economic criteria, usually because they had not yet considered economic costs and benefits of their project. In some cases, students had difficulty understanding a criterion and how it applied to their project. The social criteria were deemed easiest to apply because students saw direct connection to project work they had already completed. That said, high ratings were often not strongly justified, indicating room for continued improvement in engaging stakeholders and considering their needs. Environmental criteria earned mixed results, with most students finding the criteria relevant to their project but with little direct evidence at the mid-point in their projects. Most students identified areas for additional learning or project improvement as a result of completing the individual scoring and consensus process. The paper will provide a deeper review of the quantitative and qualitative results and a holistic discussion of the value added from formative application of the rubric. Future work will address other audiences and assessment purposes.
Barrella, E., & Cowan, C. M., & Girdner, J. D., & Watson, M. K., & Anderson, R. (2019, June), Student Experience and Learning with a Formative Sustainable Design Rubric Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33293
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