Proposal Title

Assessment for Project-Based Courses

Proposal Abstract

In a project-based course, students engage in a series of projects that lead to a defined level of skill, as specified in the course goals. Unlike a knowledge-based course, where students are given examinations to assess their level of knowledge and understanding, a project-based course may not include any formal examination. Assessments are often based solely on the quality of course projects. The issue addressed by this presentation is whether this level of assessment is sufficient to determine progress, since a course grade based on projects alone may not accurately reflect, nor give a complete picture of the skill level achieved.

A series of experiments were conducted on several project-based courses, where students were given a formal exam at the end of the course. The objective was to determine if there was a significant discrepancy between student performances on the exam and their projects. For a majority of students, their exam and projects grades were closely correlated. Nevertheless, a few students did perform quite differently. While students may appreciate not having the pressure of formal examinations, this study demonstrated that examinations are still a critical tool for accurately assessing student skill level.

Location

Room 1220 A

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 25th, 3:00 PM Mar 25th, 3:45 PM

Assessment for Project-Based Courses

Room 1220 A

In a project-based course, students engage in a series of projects that lead to a defined level of skill, as specified in the course goals. Unlike a knowledge-based course, where students are given examinations to assess their level of knowledge and understanding, a project-based course may not include any formal examination. Assessments are often based solely on the quality of course projects. The issue addressed by this presentation is whether this level of assessment is sufficient to determine progress, since a course grade based on projects alone may not accurately reflect, nor give a complete picture of the skill level achieved.

A series of experiments were conducted on several project-based courses, where students were given a formal exam at the end of the course. The objective was to determine if there was a significant discrepancy between student performances on the exam and their projects. For a majority of students, their exam and projects grades were closely correlated. Nevertheless, a few students did perform quite differently. While students may appreciate not having the pressure of formal examinations, this study demonstrated that examinations are still a critical tool for accurately assessing student skill level.