Assessment for Project-Based Courses

  • James R. Fugate Rochester Institute of Technology
Keywords: PBL, Project Based Learning, Assessment, Examination, SOTL

Abstract

A project-based course is where students engage in a series of projects, which help lead students to a defined level of skill as specified in the course goals. Unlike a traditional lecture course where students are given examinations to assess the level of student knowledge and understanding, a project-based course may not include any formal examination. The assessment of student progress is often based on the quality of course projects. For this research, students in project-based courses were given a formal exam at the end of the course. The objective of the exam was to determine if there was a discrepancy between student performance on the exam and their projects. While the majority of students performed remarkably similarly on their exam and projects, a number of students (25%) did perform quite differently. This study demonstrated that examinations are still a critical tool for assessing student skill level in project-based courses.A project-based course is where students engage in a series of projects, which help lead students to a defined level of skill as specified in the course goals. Unlike a traditional lecture course where students are given examinations to assess the level of student knowledge and understanding, a project-based course may not include any formal examination. The assessment of student progress is often based on the quality of course projects. For this research, students in project-based courses were given a formal exam at the end of the course. The objective of the exam was to determine if there was a discrepancy between student performance on the exam and their projects. While the majority of students performed remarkably similarly on their exam and projects, a number of students (25%) did perform quite differently. This study demonstrated that examinations are still a critical tool for assessing student skill level in project-based courses.

Author Biography

James R. Fugate, Rochester Institute of Technology
James Fugate is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Studies in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.  James has been an instructor in the Computer Aided Drafting Technology program for sixteen years.  James primarily teaches computer aided drafting (CAD) for architecture, engineering, and construction fields.

References

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Published
11-10-2018
Section
Case studies of PBL and reflections on PBL in practice