About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6846-6854
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

USING THE ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS (AHP) TO ASSESS STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECTS

S. Salhieh, G. Cormier

Alfaisal University (SAUDI ARABIA)
As part of graduation requirements, the Department of Industrial Engineering at Alfaisal University requires the successful completion of a four-credit course which entails a capstone project whose purpose it is to prepare students for the practice of engineering by providing them with the opportunity of putting into practice what they have learned in their previous educational experiences. Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, students enrolled in the course work in teams as professional engineering consultants on an open-ended consultation project with a local industrial partner who serves as their client. The design process is emphasized, encompassing project definition, feasibility analysis, evaluation of alternative designs, and design computations. For each project, the scope of work is developed and negotiated between the client and the student consultants.

The assessment of such capstone projects is considered to be extremely challenging when compared to ordinary courses. The difficulty arises due to differences that exists in these projects. That is, projects can differ in scope, content, complexity and team size. The old approach adopted by the department to manage this challenge of assessing different projects is the use of a broadly defined set of activities and deliverables that are assessed throughout the course of the project. These include the assessment of progress reports, presentations, and final reports. The final grade would be determined by consensus in a department-wide meeting. This approach does acknowledge the authority of the supervising faculty, but ignores the differences between projects.

This paper introduces a new approach for the assessment of capstone projects that accounts for both individual work as well as team work, that is, the performance measure is composed of a weighted average of two components: i) the individual performance which measures the student contribution and performance within the team; and ii) team performance which measures the overall performance of the team when compared against other teams and their own objectives. The measure also acknowledges the authority of the supervisor by assigning more weight to his or her evaluation in some aspects related to the student’s performance which can be better assessed via continuous involvement throughout the project. On the other hand, the measure gives more weight to other faculty members when it comes to the general knowledge and overall performance which can be measured through presentations and written reports. The measure relies on the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) as the general mechanism used to make the assessment and uses a set of rubrics to guide the pairwise comparisons used to make the rating.
@InProceedings{SALHIEH2015USI,
author = {Salhieh, S. and Cormier, G.},
title = {USING THE ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS (AHP) TO ASSESS STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECTS},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6846-6854}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Salhieh AU - G. Cormier
TI - USING THE ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS (AHP) TO ASSESS STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECTS
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 6846
EP - 6854
ER -
S. Salhieh, G. Cormier (2015) USING THE ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS (AHP) TO ASSESS STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECTS, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 6846-6854.
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