Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Educational Research and Methods
This evidence-based practice paper documents the faculty experience of implementing specifications grading in different types of engineering courses. Rather than evolving from learning theory or research, current grading practices have primarily arisen from canonical practices created three centuries ago, originally created to rank students against each other. Such ranking or competition derived practices are out of alignment with modern outcomes-based engineering assessment practices. Specifications grading, an alternative, is a framework for assessment grounded in learning theory as well as student agency. The cornerstone of specifications grading is treating each assignment as a pass/fail marker of mastery using clearly defined and transparent criteria. With limited examples in engineering, this paper provides a clear introduction to specifications grading for the engineering education community and presents case studies of the use of specifications grading in engineering classrooms. Our three case studies include insights into transitioning a senior design course co-taught by technical communication faculty from rubric-based grading, transitioning a lower-level statistics class from bell-curve grading, and developing a new first-year engineering course. With these cases, we aspire to create a diverse set of advice and templates for other faculty to adopt in their classes to implement specification grading as well as common pitfalls to avoid when first adopting it.
Fernandez, T. M., & Martin, K. M., & Mangum, R. T., & Bell-Huff, C. L. (2020, June), Whose Grade is it Anyway?: Transitioning Engineering Courses to an Evidence-based Specifications Grading System Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35512
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