Combining the Tasks of Grading Individual Assignments and Assessing Program Outcomes in Project-Based Courses

  • Kevin Dahm
Keywords: assessment, engineering, accreditation, projects


ABET requires that engineering programs demonstrate continuous assessment and continuous improvement in order to be accredited. Central to the process is establishing and assessing measurable student outcomes that reflect whether the goals and objectives of the program are being met. This paper examines effective strategies for measuring outcomes while using faculty time efficiently. One well-documented assessment strategy is constructing rubrics that measure achievement of desired outcomes and applying them to student work. The use of rubrics for grading of individual assignments and projects is also well documented. This paper demonstrates that a single rubric can be used for both tasks. In the Chemical Engineering program at Rowan University, assessment of student outcomes is primarily conducted through two project-based courses. Projects in these courses are evaluated by the instructor using the rubric, and the data is used both for grading individual students and for program assessment.