Assessing Elementary students' understanding of engineering and technology concepts

Cathy Lachapelle, Christine Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Engineering is Elementary's newest large-scale assessments are much improved over early attempts, thanks to innovation and improvement in the development process. Because engineering is so sensitive to specifics of a situation, and because multiple solutions are nearly always possible, targeting engineering "knowledge" and "know-how" is often best done with rubrics in the classroom. For large-scale assessment, the development of assessment questions must mirror the development of learning objectives for the curriculum. It is vital to develop questions assessing each learning objective from a number of points of view, in a variety of ways, especially in early stages of assessment development when it is unclear how students will interpret questions. Cognitive interviews with students allow for testing of content validity of questions. The inclusion of questions of a variety of difficulties, with some repetition of content assessed, improves statistical normality and reliability. Avoiding "teaching" questions that give away answers to other questions on the test is a particular difficulty when assessing engineering. This paper addresses content questions; the issue of assessing skills and process knowledge is left for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Event2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2010Jun 23 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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