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M.S. Mechanical Engineering 2012 Assessment Grant

Master of Science Assessment Evaluation Strategy Using Research Thesis

The purpose of the grant was to develop a thesis rubric and implement an automatic assessment software tool to compile data for analysis. This assessment strategy is in response to a new Mechanical Engineering department policy which requires students to develop and successfully defend a thesis proposal prior to being admitted to the graduate program.

This project focused on using the thesis rubric to collect data in the early stages of thesis development. The data indicated students were lacking knowledge of contemporary issues in their chosen research field. Based on this assessment, more instruction was focused on contemporary issues. Early results indicate the students’ knowledge of contemporary issues has significantly increased, and several students included a separate section in their documented work devoted to contemporary issues.

Moving forward, this process can be applied to other performance criteria on the rubric to enhance student learning and improve the quality of the thesis proposal process. For additional information, please contact Agamemnon Crassidis at alceme@rit.edu.