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Using the EPSA Rubric and EPSA Score to Evaluate Student Learning at the Course and Program Level

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count

23

Page Numbers

26.1689.1 - 26.1689.23

DOI

10.18260/p.25025

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25025

Download Count

56

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Paper Authors

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Edwin R. Schmeckpeper P.E. Norwich University

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Edwin Schmeckpeper, P.E., Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction Management at Norwich University, the first private school in the United States to offer engineering courses. Norwich University was the model used by Senator Justin Morrill for the land-grant colleges created by the 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act. Prior to joining the faculty at Norwich University, Dr. Schmeckpeper taught at a land-grant college, the University of Idaho, and worked as an engineer in design offices and at construction sites.

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Ashley Ater Kranov Washington State University

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Dr. Ashley Ater Kranov is an adjunct associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University.

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Steven W. Beyerlein University of Idaho, Moscow

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Dr. Beyerlein is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho where he has taught for 27 years. He is involved in course design, course delivery, assessment of student learning, and pedagogical studies related to solid modeling, senior design, lean manufacturing, and thermodynamics. For the past four years he has participated in a multi-institution team investigating best practices for professional skill assessment with EPSA materials. This has involved scenario creation, administration in mid-program as well as end-of-program design courses, and preparation of materials for rater training.

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Patrick D. Pedrow P.E. Washington State University

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Patrick D. Pedrow received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho, Moscow, in 1975, the Master of Engineering degree in electric power engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in 1976, the M.S. degree in physics from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, in 1981, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 1985. From 1976 to 1981, he was with McGraw-Edison Company, where he conducted research and development on electric power circuit breakers. He is currently an Associate Professor with Washington State University in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests are in plasma-assisted materials processing, including the deposition and evaluation of thin plasma-polymerized films deposited at atmospheric pressure using weakly ionized plasma. Dr. Pedrow is a member of the American Physical Society, IEEE, ASEE, Tau Beta Pi and he is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin.

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Jay Patrick McCormack Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Jay McCormack is an associate professor in the mechanical engineering department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. McCormack received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. His areas of research interest include engineering education, computational design, and manufacturing.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015