Work-in-progress: Comparison of a standards-based assessment to a traditional, summative rubric in a biomedical engineering laboratory

Casey Jane Ankeny, David P. O'Neill, Lisa Beckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Standards-based grading (SBG) is a type of formative assessment that allows for tracking of objective mastery throughout the curriculum. More specifically, SBG links the course's learning objectives (LO) to the course assignments. Students then have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the LOs several times throughout the term. Instead of traditional summative assessment, this approach aligns the student assessment with mastery of the desired outcomes. SBG allows for student and instructor monitoring of LO mastery and emphasizes the learning rather than earning points.1 Additionally, SBG allows for individualized instruction that adapts the course material to address students' weaknesses in a just-in-time fashion. While used widely in K-12, we are just now beginning to assess SBG in higher education in engineering.2 Recent work by Carberry, et al. has uncovered best practices associated with SBG that are leveraged in our work, including tracking a small number of standards, using a three to five point score, providing frequent formative feedback, and allowing several attempts at mastery throughout the term.3 In this work, we hypothesize that SBG implementation in a junior-level experimental design course will result in greater attainment of learning objectives about problem solving skills as well as result in a positive attitude in terms of confidence and motivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1573
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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