Designing Rubrics to Assess Engineering Design, Professional Practice, and Communication Over Three Years of Study

  • Natasha Lanziner Queen’s University
  • David Strong


When using rubric-based assessment of students’ understanding of design process in project based courses, it is important to provide specific feedback for major design process elements while avoiding overly prescriptive descriptors [8]. This paper details the development process of a sequence of rubrics used for assessment in successive second, third and fourth year project-based courses. A major consideration in the rubric development process was to ensure the alignment of assessment with course learning outcomes that can be easily mapped to the CEAB graduate attribute accreditation requirements. In the second year course, the rubrics are used to provide students with directed feedback as they learn the basics of engineering design process. The third and fourth year rubrics progress from the second year analytic rubrics by employing elements of holistic assessment. The purpose of evolving these rubrics year over year is to find a balance between the students’ learning and development in design process whilst accommodating variation in projects. This ultimately
provides students with greater flexibility and encourages responsibility as they progress through their program.