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Using an Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric to Structure Online High School Engineering Education

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1321.1 - 24.1321.7



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Paper Authors


James F. Groves University of Virginia

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James Groves is an Associate Professor of Engineering and Society and Associate Dean for Online Innovation in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. Dr. Groves earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Duke University, where he also completed the requirements for the bachelor’s degree in political science. He has earned Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from UVA. All of his earned degrees are in engineering. In 2000, Dr. Groves co-founded Directed Vapor Technologies International (, based upon his Ph.D. research and four U.S. patents derived from that research. Since 2002 James has been the director of distance learning in UVA’s engineering school, a responsibility that includes administration of the school’s participation in the master’s level Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program and the bachelor’s level Engineers PRODUCED in Virginia initiative.

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Leigh R. Abts University of Maryland, College Park

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Dr. Abts received his Bachelor’s of Science in 1973 from Brown University. In 1982, he graduated with his Doctorate in Engineering from Brown University. As a graduate student he co-founded with his thesis advisors Micro Pure Systems® in 1978. The Rexnord Corporation acquired Micro Pure in 1984. In 1988 he founded the Johns Hopkins University venture capital company, TRIAD® Investors. In 1992, he helped to found FutureHealth® Corporation, a patient risk-management company, which was acquired by Nationwide Insurance in 2006. In 2000, he returned to Johns Hopkins as the Executive Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer Integrated Surgery. Since 2005, Dr. Abts has worked with others on a national grassroots effort to develop an AP® for Engineering Design. Since 2004 to 2013, he served on the Steering Advisory Committee to the Congressional STEM Caucus. In 2007, Dr. Abts joined the University of Maryland (UMD) at College Park faculty where he has a joint appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the College of Education. Dr. Abts has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and the Kern Family Foundation concentrating his research efforts in Early College and high school to college / career transitions.

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Gail Lynn Goldberg

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Dr. Goldberg received her Bachelor of Arts in 1971 from Queens College and her Ph.D. in English in 1977 from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. After serving for a decade as Assessment Specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education, in 1997 Dr. Goldberg became an independent educational consultant. She provides technical support and professional development services to educational institutions, agencies, and organizations in the areas of assessment development, scoring, and literacy learning.

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Using an Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric to Structure Online High School Engineering EducationWith the increasing U.S. emphasis upon science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)education, school systems are working to add to the curriculum the K-12 system’s leastrepresented STEM element – engineering. This paper describes an ongoing effort to use onlineeducation to deliver a first semester, first year undergraduate engineering design course to highschool students in a set of school systems. The online course uses a mix of asynchronous andsynchronous online delivery methods for instruction. This paper will describe the structure ofthe online learning environment used to engage high school students in engineering designlearning online.The online course also uses a recently developed engineering design process suite of scoringrubrics to guide and assess student instruction in engineering design. This paper will describethe suite of scoring rubrics. Throughout the semester, students are grouped with other students attheir high school into design groups that work together on a design and build activity guided bythe engineering design process. Student work on the design project is divided into four majorassignments that lead the students’ exploration of the design process, from problem identificationand investigation, to prototype construction and evaluation. Students organize their designprocess submissions using an electronic portfolio system. This paper will describe the electronicportfolio system.While the use of college instruction to bring engineering education to the K-12 environment isnot scalable, the current effort is demonstrating how engineering education could be delivered toschool systems in instances where properly trained engineering educators are not available. It isalso generating high school student design portfolios that can be used as part of a national efforttargeted at fully developing and validating a suite of engineering design scoring rubrics that havethe potential to become accepted guides to K-12 instruction in engineering design. Finally, thecurrent effort is supporting the continued development of a web-based electronic portfoliosystem that can be used by students nationally to organize and archive their engineering designwork for a set of future uses by the students.

Groves, J. F., & Abts, L. R., & Goldberg, G. L. (2014, June), Using an Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric to Structure Online High School Engineering Education Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23254

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