Assessing Core Abilities in Automation 3, 4 and 5

How can you assess core abilities in Automation classes?  How do you get quantative data when assessing “soft” skills?  The task needs to be relevant and include a mix of  technical and non-technical skills.  So, in week 4, students write and facilitate the solution to their own final review questions. 


What is the purpose of this assessment?  This assessment accomplishes many goals:  for the students:  it makes them think more critically about what they have learned in the class, helps the other students prepare for the final, and gives the students the opportunity to practice communicating effectively to their peers.  I also let them work on this in groups, so it reduces their anxiety and gives them practice working on problems together.   For me as the instructor,  it helps me determine where the students are technically, as well as how strong they are in several areas of core abilities.


How do you provide feedback to students?  Students are graded with a rubric that assesses their work.  This rubric is handed out and reviewed with them the week before they need to work on the question so they have guidelines for their effort.  See Review Question Feedback Rubric.


This exercise has been very rewarding for me and for the students!  Not only has it helped the students think about what they have learned and expand on those concepts, but it also gives them the opportunity to explain technical concepts to each other – a skill that will be very useful for them when they are employed.   It also gives them the chance to polish their presentation skills with a group that they have been in class with for 14 weeks, always a plus!

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