Abstract: Context: A University internally funded Teaching Excellence Development Fund teaching and research project was initiated in 2015 aimed to enhance student engagement and satisfaction outcomes in the Bachelor of Civil and Construction Engineering cap-stone research project units. Historically the units had low student satisfaction rates, and were criticized by the lack of transparency and consistency with evaluation across discipline specialist areas and campuses (onshore and offshore). The aim was achieved through the enhancement of teaching resources and renewal of delivery, new assessment rubrics and marking schema, and scholarship of teaching and learning.
Purpose: The purpose is to enhance student, staff and industry satisfaction and engagement with the final year project units, enhance teaching delivery and evaluation, and ensure alignment of the units with Australian Qualifications Framework level 8.
Approach: Lecturer and supervisor reflections and student evaluation data were used to assess the influence of changes to the units on students' satisfaction and agreement with unit-based evaluative items addressing teaching quality. Mixed mode research methods will be used with a variety of data collection to enable greater validity, reduce pre-existing assumptions and assess the impact from a number of perspectives.
Quantitative data will be the satisfaction data of students both prior to changes (historical data) and after changes (post 2015 data). Qualitative data analysis will be conducted to gain more insight into the experience of engineering students who experienced both the former and renewed units for their project e.g. transitioned from the old units for one semester to the new unit for second semester of their project.
Results: The satisfaction data in the first semester of implementation for those students who were completing their final year projects (thus, experienced the old and new units) spiked at over 90%. Currently the satisfaction rate is on average 80%. The teaching and research project impact has extended beyond the Department of Civil Engineering with the Unit Learning Outcomes and Marking Rubrics currently being shared across all disciplines of Engineering in the Faculty. It is anticipated that this will enable consistency of final year project evaluations and outcomes. This action is currently being accomplished with representatives from all Departments working collaboratively on fine-tuning rubrics. Semester 1, 2017 implementation is planned for uniform Unit Learning Outcomes and rubrics across all engineering disciplines.
Conclusions: The outcome of this research will be a contribution to the teaching and learning discourse on final year project assessment, teaching and standards. The author and collaborator, Kerri Bland, continue to refine the rubrics and seek collaboration to benchmark the standards across other Universities and share experiences of Unit Co-coordinator successes and challenges in managing large cohort, multisupervisor final year project units.
To cite this article: Lloyd, Natalie. Enhancing cap stone projects' assessment and teaching [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 501-509.
[cited 27 Apr 17].