June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1689.1 - 26.1689.23
Using the EPSA Rubric and EPSA Score to Evaluate Student Learning at both the Course and Program LevelABSTRACTEngineering programs often contain a senior level “Professional Issues” course to cover topics,such as ethics, which are related to the professional practice of engineering. These coursescommonly utilize case studies focusing on ethics as the basis for student discussions. Measuringthe student learning resulting from the case study process is often very subjective, and is difficultto quantify. Determining changes in student learning from freshman to senior year is alsodifferent to quantify.The Engineering Professional Skills Assessment (EPSA) was created as a direct method foreliciting and measuring professional skills, such as ethics, as described in ABET criterion 3 -student outcomes. EPSA is a performance assessment consisting of: 1) a 1-2 page scenario aboutan interdisciplinary contemporary engineering problem intended to prompt discussion among agroup of 5-6 students; 2) a 45- minute discussion period where students are asked to address aseries of standardized questions about the scenario; and 3) an analytical rubric, which is used toevaluate the students’ discussion. The EPSA Score is computed from the individual aspects ofthe analytic rubric, and provides a single score that may be used to quickly compare progressover the semester or between school years.The research team that developed EPSA has recently completed a four -year validity studyfunded by the National Science Foundation. As part of this validation study, the team ofresearchers applied EPSA to test groups of students at three different universities. As a result ofthe work done on the validity study, the team members introduced other faculty members toEPSA, who then have independently started to utilize aspects of the EPSA method in theirprograms. This paper describes how the EPSA scenarios, the EPSA rubric, and the EPSA Scorehave been used for two years in both a senior level “Professional Issues” course for engineeringstudents and a freshman level “Intro to Engineering” course. The course instructors have foundthe interdisciplinary EPSA scenarios to generate more enthusiastic and higher level discussionthan case studies that focus solely on ethics. For example, one professor has selected to use theEPSA “Offshore Wind Farm” scenario due to the University’s proximity to local land-basedwind farms. This scenario includes economic, political, regulatory, ethical, and environmentalconsiderations, including such issues as public use vs. private rights related to land-use, effectsof regulations on utility prices, reliability of renewable energy, global warming, and theinternational markets for energy. To make evaluation of students’ work more consistent betweenthe multiple sections of the course, the EPSA Rubric provides a standardized means to evaluatethe quality of student discussions.The paper includes presentation of several of the EPSA scenarios, the standardized questionswhich are used to prompt the student discussion, the EPSA rubric, and the EPSA Score, and willaddress how these have been incorporated for use at both the classroom and program level.
Schmeckpeper, E. R., & Ater Kranov, A., & Beyerlein, S. W., & Pedrow, P. D., & McCormack, J. P. (2015, June), Using the EPSA Rubric and EPSA Score to Evaluate Student Learning at the Course and Program Level Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25025
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