Free ticketed event
Assessment of student achievement using a grading system is a major task required of engineering educators. Most higher education institutions use a traditional, summative score-based grading system that relies on assigning an end-of-semester letter grade representative of each student’s achievement in the course. Most educators default to assigning student grades by tabulating scores for multiple assignments, summing assignment scores, and determining a final course grade based on a predetermined scale. Such an approach inherently fails to meet the conditions of sound assessment of student learning because the resulting final course grades only display how well students performed on completing separate assignments rather than how well they learned specific course objectives. It cannot then be assumed that all students who receive the same final grade have mastered the same content. An alternative approach is to directly measure the quality of students’ proficiency toward well-defined course objectives through a learning outcomes-based approach, heretofore referred to as Standards-based Grading (SBG).
This workshop will introduce participants to SBG and how such a system can be easily implemented at institutions that use a traditional letter grade reporting system. Emergent best practices will be shared by the facilitators to explain implementation strategies, present faculty perceived benefits for students, and elaborate on internal and external barriers/obstacles that must be overcome to achieve successful implementation. Example gradebooks will be shared to demonstrate how students and educators can utilize SBG assessments to better understand what students are learning and where certain students are struggling. A specific discussion will occur around the topic of how to incorporate SBG with common learning management systems (e.g., Blackboard and Canvas). Data from evaluations of courses utilizing SBG will be shared to demonstrate the impact SBG can have on student perceptions of grading.
Participants are encouraged to bring syllabi, as they will be given the opportunity to work at designing a standards-based grading system for their courses. Facilitators will assist participants and further break down best practices to ensure appropriate steps are taken for the type (e.g., project or lecture-based) of course participants are considering converting from traditional grading to SBG. It will be particularly encouraged for use within project-based design courses.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1503794. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Adam Carberry is an assistant professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. Dr. Carberry was previously an employee of the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education & Outreach and manager of the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP).
Dr. Sara A. Atwood is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She holds a BA and MS from Dartmouth College, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Heidi A. Diefes-Dux is a Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Food Process Engineering from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She is a member of Purdue’s Teaching Academy. Since 1999, she has been a faculty member within the First-Year Engineering Program, teaching and guiding the design of one of the required first-year engineering courses that engages students in open-ended problem solving and design. Her research focuses on the development, implementation, and assessment of modeling and design activities with authentic engineering contexts. She is currently a member of the educational team for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN).
Dr. Matthew T. Siniawski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Loyola Marymount University. He has advised over 40 different senior capstone project design teams since 2004, and is particularly interested in the design of assistive devices for children with disabilities. He is a an active proponent of service-learning and is interested in understanding how such experiences impact the technical and professional development of engineering undergraduate students.