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Embedding Multiple Assessments in Classroom Activities

[+] Author Affiliations
Joseph P. Fuehne

Purdue University

Paper No. IMECE2006-13947, pp. 429-437; 9 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4781-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The Mechanical Engineering Technology program of Purdue University at Columbus/Southeast Indiana is a small program with only two full-time faculty and typically has 4-8 graduates per year. In preparing for its first ever ABET accreditation evaluation in the fall of 2005, the faculty conducted a survey of graduates from the last three years and received nine responses. Such a small response contributed to the concern that this method of assessment might not provide much useful data regarding assessment of program outcomes and objectives. As a result of this and limited resources, the faculty of the MET program in Columbus focused their efforts on direct assessment of program outcomes by using classroom assignments, lab reports and exam questions. An example of an embedded assessment utilized by the MET faculty is a laboratory report. The Mechanical Engineering Technology program consists of many classes that have laboratory activities. The rubric used for lab reports is a fifteen part rubric that varies from 1 to 4. Lab reports are assessed for spelling/grammar, participation, calculations, appearance, analysis, summary, conclusions and drawings/diagrams among other categories. Assessments can be made of technical content (program outcome (PO 1), verbal communications including both written content and graphical communications (PO 3), experimental understanding and teamwork. While these assessments are useful for gauging learning and are used in the MET program continuous quality improvement process, they also make grading considerably easier. A two-page form was also developed which summarized the assessment points for each program outcome. The first page of the form includes the mission statements of Purdue University, the MET program objectives, the MET program outcomes, the core learning objectives of the particular course in which the assessment is performed and the details of the assessment point. These details include the specific core learning objective, the applicable program outcome and the rubric for the assessment. The second page of the form includes the results of the assessment, those teaching techniques that the faculty member wants to retain and those that he wants to change.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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