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Using The Senior Design Jury To Directly Assess Program Outcomes

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Direct Measures of Student Performance

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1574.1 - 12.1574.12



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Paper Authors

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Michael Bronzini George Mason University

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John Matusik The Engineering Groupe

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

Using the Senior Design Jury to Directly Assess Program Outcomes Abstract

The senior design project course that is required for the B.S. degree in civil and infrastructure engineering at George Mason University is built around teams of students completing land design projects. Final projects are presented in a public forum, and various aspects of student performance are graded by a design jury. This paper describes the methods used for this senior design course, presents the assessment process, and shows how the results are used to measure student performance on the traditional ABET a-k outcomes. Results achieved over the past several years and the ensuing program changes are summarized.

Senior Design Course Requirements and Procedures

The basic premise of the course is that each student team will prepare the preliminary layout and design for a land development project. The lead instructor for the course and co-author of this paper is a practicing land development engineer, and the support instructor is a practicing structural engineer. Departmental faculty or local land design practitioners play the role of the project clients. Each team takes an assigned actual land parcel in a nearby jurisdiction and, for a specified residential, commercial, or industrial project, prepares preliminary designs for the layout, street system, grading, drainage, water supply and wastewater systems, and all connections to the relevant offsite systems. A portion of the proposed project is selected for a preliminary structural design. The students also develop construction cost estimates, and perform a traffic impact study.

Student teams typically have five to seven members. To ensure that all students participate, both individual and group work products are required (see below). All students must also participate in the final presentation. In addition, each team member evaluates the contribution of the other members, and those evaluations are considered by the instructor in determining final grades.

The land parcel used and the design specifications for each team change with each offering of the course. Portions of the specific instructions to the students for Spring 2006 are given below.

Part I. Teams will design the site layout according to the assigned land use scenario (see below), subject to acceptance by the client. Upon acceptance by the client (i.e., notice to proceed), the teams will then perform the engineering tasks for final layout and design of: (a) water supply and distribution system; (b) wastewater collection system; (c) stormwater management and storm drainage system; (d) the transportation system; (e) erosion and sediment control; and (f) structural design for an assigned project component. One industry mentor will be available on a limited basis to each group, and the departmental faculty will also provide guidance upon request.

Part II. Develop the design documents (drawings and computations) for the given land use conditions for systems (a) through (f) listed in Part I. Each student is required to submit two CADD drawings and corresponding computations prepared solely by them. Remaining drawings can be prepared by anyone else on the team, individually or collectively with others. Each group

Bronzini, M., & Matusik, J. (2007, June), Using The Senior Design Jury To Directly Assess Program Outcomes Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1753

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