Published in Proceedings of the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Chicago, IL, June 18, 2006.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Allen Estes was affiliated with the United States Military Academy - West Point, NY. Currently, August 2008, he is Head and Professor of Architectural Engineering at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo.
The culminating design experience for civil engineering majors at the United States Military Academy (USMA) is CE492, Design of Structural Systems. CE492 serves as a “capstone” experience or one in which students are faced with a multi-disciplinary design project incorporating facets from all previous civil engineering courses. Previous capstone experiences have required students to design structures planned for construction or currently under construction at the Academy, thus providing an opportunity for site visitations and active participation with key players in the project development process. Since CE492 provides a multi-disciplinary experience, it also provides an ideal opportunity for the application of embedded assessment indicators. The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of an embedded assessment technique which has been used successfully for two semesters in CE450, Infrastructure Development and Construction Management, to assess accomplishment of the Academy’s Engineering and Technology Goal. By merging the student evaluation and assessment processes in CE492, instructor workload was reduced, student evaluation was tied more closely to the relevant academic program and the ASCE Body of Knowledge (BOK) outcomes, and a systematic method was created for identifying shortcomings and areas of excellence in the program.