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Assessing Group Project for Fluids Power and Advanced Fluid Mechanics Paper


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The Fluids Power and Advanced Fluid Mechanics paper is a Level 7 paper for the Bachelor of Engineering and Technology following Sydney accord. Its graduate attributes are set by the accrediting body, Engineering New Zealand. One key attribute is to: “Function effectively as an individual, and as a member or leader in diverse teams” It is a challenge to teach and assess this attribute in a group project setting. We have designed a project-based class and assessment for this paper to enable students to learn and work in a team-based setting solving real-world problems, using modern Engineering CAD tools. We investigate how this graduate attribute may be effectively taught and assessed when students are functioning as part of a team. PURPOSE OR GOAL The main purpose of this study is to investigate how to teach and assess, as accurately as possible and in a way that does not increase monitoring costs on the part of instructors, the contribution of each student as an individual and as a member or leader their diverse project team. APPROACH OR METHODOLOGY/METHODS This paper investigates teaching and assessment of group participation and demonstration of the graduate attribute both in the classroom, and in a group project context. First, the design of a small intensive Project-Based Learning (PjBL) class is described, and the process by which this design allows the instructor to foster directly participation and contribution towards the group’s deliverable is characterised. Then, a PjBL assignment is described, and the means by which an instructor can clearly assess the level of intra-group interaction and team-based contribution to the assignment is constructed. ACTUAL OR ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES Both cases demonstrate how an instructor can effectively teach and accurately assess group participation without relying on measures of self- and peer- assessment of others’ work. CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS/SUMMARY The cases described in this paper challenge perceptions that teaching and accurate assessment of students’ participation in group work must entail more work on the part of the instructor. PjBL teaching classes are an excellent place to foster and develop teamwork skills. Furthermore, students’ fears can be allayed that group projects are inadequate reflections of students’ learning if most of the work is done by one student: it turns out students perform poorly at presenting or understanding their team members’ work. This does however also challenge the theory that group assignments result in students’ understanding the value of teamwork since less than half the class could effectively describe what their fellow team members had done. This suggests PjBL classes may be a better place to foster such teamwork.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assessing, Students capabilities, Teamwork, Graduate Profile, Group Project
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
Depositing User: Jai Khanna
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2021 20:58
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:12

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