You Be the Judge: When Competitions Employ an Engineering Design Rubric


This article examines the use of an engineering design rubric by judges for three different student competitions—one regional, one national, and one global—to evaluate portfolios posted on the Innovation Portal, a free online resource available to students, teachers, and others engaged in STEM education across instructional levels. Judges responded to an online survey on the Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric (EDPPSR) following each competition. From close examination of survey responses and analysis of judges’ independently assigned scores for various elements (or score categories) under which e-portfolio contents were organized, the author determines that a complex rubric can be used to evaluate competition entries both efficiently and with moderate consistency—even without more than cursory training—by those lacking familiarity with that scoring tool from an instructional context. The author identifies rewards in using rubrics like the EDPPSR for more than teaching and testing and presents some considerations regarding rubrics—not only engineering design rubrics but those intended to evaluate other processes and products common to STEM disciplines.

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Gail Lynn Goldberg

Gail Lynn Goldberg


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