June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1349.1 - 24.1349.19
Using the EPSA Rubric to Evaluate Student Work in a Senior Level Professional Issues CourseEngineering 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.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 research team that developed EPSA is currently in thefinal year of a four -year validity study funded by the National Science Foundation. As part ofthis validation study, the team of researchers has applied EPSA to test groups of students atNorwich University, the University of Idaho, and Washington State University.As a result of the work done on the validity study, faculty members from Norwich who are partof the project team introduced other Norwich faculty to EPSA, who have independently startedto utilize aspects of the EPSA method in their courses. This paper describes how the EPSAscenarios and EPSA rubric are being used in the “Ethics” section of a senior level “ProfessionalIssues” course for engineering students. The course instructors have found the interdisciplinaryEPSA scenarios to generate more enthusiastic and higher level discussion than case studies thatfocus solely on ethics. For example, one professor has selected to use the EPSA “Offshore WindFarm” scenario due to Norwich University’s proximity to local land-based wind farms. Thisscenario includes economic, political, regulatory, ethical, and environmental considerations,including such issues as public use vs. private rights related to land-use, effects of regulations onutility prices, reliability of renewable energy, global warming, and the international markets forenergy. To make evaluation of students’ work more consistent between the multiple sections ofthe course, the EPSA Rubric provides a standardized means to evaluate the quality of studentdiscussions.The paper includes presentation of several of the EPSA scenarios, the standardized questionswhich are used to prompt the student discussion, the EPSA rubric, and will address how thesehave been incorporated for use in the classroom.
Schmeckpeper, E. R., & Ater-Kranov, A., & Beyerlein, S. W., & McCormack, J. P., & Pedrow, P. D. (2014, June), Using the EPSA Rubric to Evaluate Student Work in a Senior Level Professional Issues Course Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23282
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