Assessing Semester-Long Student Team Design Reports in Large Classes to Provide Individual Student Grades

Filippo A. Salustri, Patrick W. Neumann


This paper presents a method and tool to achieve a trade-off between workload on assessors of semester-long team-based design projects in large classes, with the need for fair and comprehensive assessments
of each student individually. Students “book time” throughout the semester, recording their level of input into each project element. They each provide totals for time spent on each element of their final reports. The instructor assesses each design report as if one person wrote it. These data are combined into a single rubric/ spreadsheet. The rubric scales report assessments to accommodate differences in team size, and generates a unique grade for each student in a team. Examples are given in the paper, as are details from the implementation of the method in a Fall 2015 introductory design course. There is anecdotal evidence that the method works, but there is always room for improvement. Several ideas for future modifications to method are discussed. All spreadsheets, documentation, and examples are freely available via the Web. Links are provided.

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