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The Efficacy Of Ongoing Course Assessment For Enhancing Student Learning In Structural Design Courses

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Assessment Methods

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1283.1 - 11.1283.13



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Paper Authors


Abi Aghayere Rochester Institute of Technology

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Dr. Abi Aghayere is a professor of civil engineering technology at RIT, and the 2004-05 recipient of RIT’s prestigious Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is also one of the recipients of the 2003 ASEE Best Paper Award. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos, a S.M. in Structural Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of Alberta. Dr. Aghayere is a licensed professional engineer in Ontario, Canada.

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

The Efficacy of Ongoing Course Assessment for Enhancing Student Learning in Structural Design Courses


A technique was recently developed for the continuous assessment of student learning that involves measuring students’ perception of learning of course topics. The assessment instrument is divided into several modules with each module consisting of a detailed listing of course topics. This instrument has been used in the author’s on-campus and online structural analysis courses. The results of the data collected from a structural analysis course pointed to enhancement in student learning, with the additional benefit of forcing the students to reflect on and take charge of their own learning.

This assessment technique has been further implemented in structural steel design and reinforced concrete design courses. The data collected is analyzed and compared to students’ experiences from the structural analysis course to determine the impact of using this assessment instrument on student learning in structural design courses. The impact of students’ perception of learning as measured by the assessment instrument on the final grades obtained in the course, and the influence, if any, of using this ongoing course assessment technique on the end-of-term student course evaluations are also investigated.


Most US colleges and universities use some form of end-of-term summative course evaluation - that is an assessment-of-learning or after-the-fact assessment technique - where the students rate the instructor, the course delivery method, the textbook, and other aspects of the course. However, under this assessment regime, students cannot benefit from any course correction that may result from their feedback because the assessment is completed by students only at the end of the course. On the other hand, there is a dearth of assessment-for-learning techniques in US colleges and universities.1

An assessment-for-learning technique 2, 3 was recently developed and has been successfully implemented in a structural analysis course. The advantages of this technique, when compared to assessment-of-learning techniques, include the following:

1. Students are able to reap immediate benefit from their feedback 2. The technique forces students to reflect on and take responsibility for their own learning 3. It helps the instructor identify students who may be struggling with a particular concept or topic. 4. Shy and deaf students are given the opportunity to ask the questions that they may otherwise be reluctant to ask in class. It puts all students in the class on a level playing field so that no student feels left behind.

Aghayere, A. (2006, June), The Efficacy Of Ongoing Course Assessment For Enhancing Student Learning In Structural Design Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--520

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