Sustainable Engineering Assessment Using Rubric-Based Analysis of Challenge Question Responses

TitleSustainable Engineering Assessment Using Rubric-Based Analysis of Challenge Question Responses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMcCormick, M, Lawyer, K, Wiggins, J, Swan, CW, Paterson, KG, Bielefeldt, AR
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number10523928
AbstractA method to evaluate students' application of sustainability principles into engineering design and problem solving was developed. Students were presented with two challenge questions that each posed a scenario. Students responded to one question and their answers were scored using a rubric that combined both analytic and holistic scoring criteria to account for sustainability principles. The rubric was iteratively developed and met standard measures of reliability and validity. Based on responses from primarily civil and environmental engineering students at three institutions, it was found that male students, seniors, and participants in many diverse learning activities (extracurricular service, internships, undergraduate research, and engineering design courses) achieved higher rubric scores. Scores on the challenge questions did not correlate to students' interests in sustainable engineering, which were measured using a Likert-based survey. A challenge-question approach to formative assessment may enable instructors to adapt curricula to foster student learning of implicit sustainability issues in engineering. 
NotesMcCormick, Mary 1 Lawyer, Kristina 2 Wiggins, Jonathan 3 Swan, Christopher W. 4 Paterson, Kurtis G. 5 Bielefeldt, Angela R. 6; Affiliation: 1: Ph.D. Candidate, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Tufts Univ., Medford, MA 02155. 2: Instructor, Automotive Engineering Technology, College of Technology, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute, IN 47809-9989. 3: Research Assistant, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. 4: Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Development, School of Engineering, Tufts Univ., 113 Anderson Hall, 200 College Ave., Medford, MA 02155. 5: Dept. Head, Engineering, James Madison Univ., MSC 4116, 701 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807. 6: Professor, Univ. of Colorado Boulder, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (corresponding author). E-mail:; Source Info: Apr2015, Vol. 141 Issue 2, p-1; Subject Term: SUSTAINABLE engineering; Subject Term: ENGINEERING design -- Study & teaching (Higher); Subject Term: SUSTAINABILITY; Subject Term: ENVIRONMENTAL engineering; Subject Term: CIVIL engineering; Subject Term: COLLEGE students; Subject Term: STUDY & teaching (Higher); Author-Supplied Keyword: Engineering education; Author-Supplied Keyword: Students; Author-Supplied Keyword: Sustainable development; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541330 Engineering Services; Number of Pages: 1p; Document Type: Article