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How student are graded

Civil Engineering
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How student are graded

The Civil Engineering faculty have developed a set of rubrics, or guidelines, that describe the levels of attainment of abilities that we believe are important for you to learn before you graduate. We call these abilities “student outcomes” and we assess them regularly to determine if we need to make improvements in how we conduct our courses in order to improve your level of attainment of them.

In the tables below, our “target” level of attainment is the minimum level of ability we believe you should have. F or D grades are below our target level of attainment of ability, C grades are at our target level of attainment of ability, B grades are above our target level of attainment of ability, and A grades are outstanding and well above our target level of attainment of ability.

You can use these rubrics to understand how to improve your own work or to better understand the grades you have been given by your professors.

 

A:   Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

A1:  Able to apply knowledge of chemistry, physics or other sciences to solve engineering problems

Can only apply scientific principles to problem solving with guidance; cannot reach solutions or makes many mistakes when solving problems.

Can identify appropriate scientific principles in developing problem solutions; able to solve problem but makes minor mistakes.

Demonstrates thorough knowledge of scientific principles and applies them correctly to solve engineering problems.

Can also determine whether answer is appropriate to problem.

A2:  Able to apply appropriate mathematical techniques to solve engineering problems

Can only apply mathematic principles to problem solving with guidance; cannot reach solutions or makes many mistakes when solving problems.

Can identify appropriate mathematical principles to solve problem; able to solve problem but makes minor mistakes.

Can apply mathematical principles correctly to engineering problems and some problems without errors.

Can also determine whether answer is appropriate to problem.

 

B:  Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

B1: Able to design an experiment

Cannot formulate an experimental plan that matches the objective; cannot select appropriate tools; unaware of uncertainty.

Formulates an incomplete experimental plan; needs guidance in selecting appropriate tools; is aware of sources of uncertainty but does not account for them or does so poorly.

Formulates an adequate experimental plan; selects adequate tools; aware of sources of uncertainty and able to account for them.

Formulates a comprehensive experimental plan; selects appropriate tools; aware of sources of error and uncertainty and accounts for them in the plan.

B2: Able to conduct experiments

Objective and hypothesis are poorly defined; Does not or is unable to explain how experiment will meet objective; Procedure and data tables have not been prepared in advance or are unclear; Unable to complete experiment; Recorded data is incomplete.

Can state a basic objective and hypothesis; Able to explain basic relationship between experiment and objective; Procedure and data tables are prepared in advance but are not clear or well organized; Able to complete experiment; Recorded data is complete.

Can state a more developed objective and hypothesis; Able to explain a more full relationship between experiment and objective; Procedure and data tables are prepared in advance and are reasonably clear and organized but not concise; Able to complete experiment; Recorded data is complete and annotated with observations.

Can state the full objective; Able to explain full relationship between experiment and hypothesis; Procedure and data tables are prepared in advance and are clear, organized and concise; Able to complete experiment; Recorded data is complete and annotated with observations.

B3: Able to analyze and interpret data

Mathematically analyzes data incorrectly.

Mathematically analyzes data correctly; Makes interpretations of results that are incomplete.

Makes interpretations of results that are correct; Also explains whether and why the objective was met and the hypothesis was correct.

Also comments on effect of error or uncertainty in interpretation of results; Explains the larger significance of the experiment and its results.

 

C:  An ability to design a system, component, or a process to meet desired needs

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

C1: Able to analyze the requirement of design

Misses or incorrectly identifies most inputs.

Does not recognize the need for estimating information not provided.

Misses some inputs.

Misses several assumptions and estimates of other quantities are off.

Identifies inputs.

Recognizes the need for additional information not available but does not identify all required input.

Identifies inputs and input variables.

Lists all assumptions and Estimates other required quantities not provided or available.

 

Does not realize the idealization involved in analysis.

Incorrect analysis.

Idealized representation has several mistakes

Several mistakes in the execution of the analysis.

Idealized representation has minor mistakes

Makes minor mistakes in the execution of analysis.

Develops proper idealized representation of the structure or process with proper boundary conditions.

Executes analysis to determine the required demand or capacity.

C2: Able to execute design

- Understanding and applying the appropriate provisions of the code

Shows no knowledge of code.

Misses some of the applicable provisions.

Applies incorrect interpretation of some provisions in the code.

Identifies most of the codal provisions that are applicable.

Demonstrates an understanding of the provisions.

Identifies all the provisions of the code that are applicable.

Demonstrates an understanding of the codal provisions and applies them correctly.

- Making suitable assumptions about information not available and check or verify the assumptions.

Skips several steps.

Mixes up units.

Skips some steps in the procedure.

Some math mistakes.

Some mistakes in units.

Follows steps in design procedure.

Some math mistakes in execution.

Units are correctly identified.

Follows design procedure and executes the calculations without mistakes correctly identifying all units of quantities.

- Checking to ensure that design calculations will result in something which can be implemented

Does not recognize the need to check or evaluate the result.

Does not check to see if the calculations can be implemented practically or does not verify if the assumptions are satisfied.

Recognizes the need to check design or to evaluate results.

Checks or evaluates some but not all required results.

Recognizes the need to check design or to evaluates results

Evaluates final design to see if it can be implemented and checks if assumptions are satisfied.

C3: Able to present results

The formatting and presentation of information not easy to follow.

Essential information not readily accessible.

All essential calculation are presented but information not in the Engineering format.

Presents calculations and all essential information is in the required Engineering format.

Drawings not provided.

Drawings lacking sufficient detail or missing considerable information.

Drawings are to scale, some dimensions or part labels missing. Detailed sections.

Drawings are to scale, all dimensions are labeled, detailed sections are shown separately with cross-referencing.

 

D:   An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level fo attainment

D1: Contributed their ideas to team effort

Waited for others to make suggestions or expected to be told what to do.

Contributed ideas occasionally.

Contributed ideas on most or all occasions.

Not only contributed their own ideas but suggested how to improve other team members' ideas.

D2: Listened to others and respects expertise from other disciplines

Tried to dominate discussion or ignored what others were saying.

Listened to others.

Listened to others and encouraged others to talk; asked team members for information from their area or assignments.

Helped lead useful discussions by making sure that each member contributed and the group stayed on topic; helped to avert arguments.

D3: Met assignments on time

Failed on several occasions to have their work done.

Had to be repeatedly reminded or missed meetings or interim due dates.

Had all work done on time and was on time for all meetings.

Had all work done on time and was available to help other team members.

D4: Shared with others and worked for team excellence

Tried to minimize their share of the work; never helped another team member.

Did their share of the work.

Did more than their share of the work by taking on additional tasks or helping other team members.

Did more than their share and kept on eye on the project as a whole.

 

E:  Ability to identify, formulate and solve civil engineering problems

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding attainment

E1: Able to identify and formulate real world engineering problems

Unable to identify most important features of problem to account for; Unable to break problem into solvable components; Unable to identify uncertainty or state assumptions

Able to identify some important features of problem to account for; Breaks problem into components that are not necessarily solvable; Able to identify some uncertainties and assumptions

Able to identify most features of problem to account for; Breaks problem into solvable components; Able to identify most important uncertainties and assumptions

Able to identify all features of problem to account for; Breaks problem into solvable components; Able to identify all important uncertainties and assumptions

E2: Able to solve real world engineering problems

Unable to solve problems similar to those done in class; Unable to solve other problems without guidance

Able to solve problems similar to those done in class; Able to solve other problems with guidance

Able to solve problems that are variations of those done in class without guidance

Able to solve problems that are different from those done in class without guidance

E3:  Able to evaluate validity of results

Unable to identify whether results are reasonable, Unable to explain significance of results, Unable to identify how results would differ if different approach was used to solve problem

Able to identify whether results are reasonable, Able to explain significance of results, Able to identify how results would differ if different approach was used to solve problem

Also uses unit analysis to check results

Also uses independent methods to check results; Also able to use results to make recommendations

 
 

F:  Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

F1: Is familiar with the ASCE Code of Ethics

Student has not heard of or cannot answer simple questions about the code

Student can answer simple questions about the code

Student is thoroughly familiar with the code

Student is thoroughly familiar with the code and can give examples of how it applies in real world situations

F2: Able to recognize conflicts of interest issues and act in accordance with professional and ethical standards

Does not understand the meaning of conflict of interest. Does not understand disclosure and may fail to disclose potential conflicts.

Able to define the meaning of conflict of interest.

Able to explain the meaning of conflict of interest.

Can identify ethical and professional responses to descriptions of conflicts or ethical situations.

F3: Understands the purpose and importance of licensure

Does not know what is required to become licensed or why civil engineers become licensed

Knows what is required to become licensed

Can explain why it is important for a civil engineer to be licensed

Can give examples of when a license is required and explain why

           

 

G:  Ability to communicate effectively

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

G1:  Ability to Communicate effectively in writing

G1a: Can structure a paper, report, or memo to communicate their ideas

Cannot organize ideas; important information is omitted; jumps from topic to topic with no order.

Main ideas are clear; Proper information is provided in each section. Data in tables and figures are explained in text.

Paper is well structured; text explains theoretical and conceptual justifications for work.

Paper is also concise, and convincing.

G1b: Can write in grammatically correct fashion

Written work is full of grammatical and spelling errors; no references when references are needed.

Written work has few grammatical or spelling errors.

Written work is grammatically correct and has no spelling errors.

Written work is also exceptionally clear and easy to read.

G1c: Can format and present written work appropriately

Written work does not follow required format; Drawings, figures, and tables not prepared with proper software.

Report follows required format with abstract, introduction, procedure, results, analysis of results, and conclusion.  Tables, figures, and equations are provided.

Report gives technical references other than textbook.  Equations, tables, and figures are properly labeled and well presented.

Paragraph titles, equations, figures, tables and footnotes are also well formatted and presented.  Report also looks professional.

G1d:  Can provide correct technical content

Concepts are misunderstood. Calculations are incorrect.  Results are inconsistent. 

Calculations are correct. Report provides an interpretation of results.

Analysis of results is solid. Explanations for observed results are provided and supported.

Student also shows thorough understanding of concepts and is able to relate data and results to material covered in class.

G2:  Ability to communicate effectively graphically

G2: Able to present quantitative information

Poor choice of presentation method for information to be presented; tables and figures difficult to interpret; information in table not relevant to text.

Tables and figures not labeled or units not given; not discussed in text.

Tables and figures correctly and completely labeled and readable; discussed in text.

Tables and figures are also correct, readable, and convincing; graphical presentation is also meaningful.

G3:  Ability to communicate effectively orally

G3a: Able to present result of engineering analysis or design

Poor choice of material to present; relevance not clear; no introduction or conclusion; poor or no slides.

Presents important material; slides present relevant information.

Well organized talk leading to important conclusion; slides present relevant material in concise and convincing manner.

Also can handle questions and interruptions well.

G3b: Has a good style of presentation

Does not speak loud enough, does not face audience, has distracting mannerisms.

Speaks loud enough, stands erect.

Uses voice effectively and addresses audience clearly.

Projects an image of competence and professionalism.

 

H:  the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and social context

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

H: Understands the impacts of engineering actions

Unaware of general or specific impacts of an engineering action relevant to course.

Identifies general impacts relevant to course and explains why they occur.

Also identifies specific impacts relevant to course and explains why they occur.

Also uses impacts to recommend alternate solutions to a course problem.

 

I: Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

I1: Appreciates the need for continuing education to retain a PE license

Is ignorant of need for continuing education credit.

Is aware of need for continuing education credit.

Is also able to describe what continuing education credit is.

Is also aware of where to get information about continuing education credits.

I2: Appreciates the need for up to date codes for design

Is ignorant that design codes change over time.

Is aware that design codes change over time.

Is also able to identify codes that are more likely to change over time.

Is also aware of where to get information about changes to codes.

I3: Searches for other credible sources of information besides those introduced in the classroom

Relies on class notes, textbook and instructor for most information.

Inconsistently draws upon outside sources of information; unable to or does not judge whether sources are credible.

Inconsistently draws upon outside sources of information that are credible.

Consistently draws upon credible outside sources of information.

 

J: Knowledge of contemporary issues

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

J: Has knowledge of issues appropriate to course

Unaware of most contemporary issues relevant to course.

Identifies all contemporary issues relevant to course.

Also explains the relationship between issues and course topics.

Also uses issues to recommend alternate solutions to a course problem.

 

K:  Ability to use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Criteria

Below target level of attainment

At target level of attainment

Above target level of attainment

Outstanding level of attainment

K1: Uses modern equipment and instrumentation in laboratories

No ability to use lab equipment.

Can use lab equipment with assistance.

Correctly uses lab equipment, with occasional guidance.

Correctly uses lab equipment without help.

K2: Uses modern reporting tools

Very limited ability to use MS Office PowerPoint, Word, Excel.

Prepares and presents project reports, using MS Office PowerPoint, World, Excel.

Independent ability to prepare and present a project report, using MS Office PowerPoint, Word, Excel.

Produces professional quality reports taking full advantage of computer reporting tools.

K3: Uses computer software appropriate to topics of course

Cannot use appropriate software.

Uses of software as explained by instructor for specified assignments.

Uses software to do homework or projects beyond the requirements of course.

Shows ability to go beyond the course assignments and to additional functions of software.