ENE 50600

Content, Assessment and Pedagogy: An Integrated Engineering Design Approach

3 credits CRN 60704 (Spring 2015)

Spring 2015

Mondays, 1:30 – 4:20 ARMS 1028



Ruth Streveler Office: ARMS 1307

Office hours: Mondays, 11:00am – 1:00 pm

Apprentice Faculty

Andrea Mazzurco amazzurc@purdue.edu Office:

Office hours: TBD


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Content, Assessment and Pedagogy is a School of Engineering Education Foundation course that is designed to help participants build a foundation of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind or modes of thinking that facilitate the integration of content (or curriculum), assessment, and pedagogy for learning module, course, and program design. Rather than treat each of these areas separately we strive to help the participants consider all three together in systematic way. Our approach is essentially an engineering design approach, that is, we start with requirements or specifications, emphasize metrics, and then the preparation of prototypes that meet the requirements.

As an ENE “foundation” course – the course is also designed to:

  • Contribute to students’ satisfying the Graduate Competencies,
    • Especially – Apply Engineering Education Principles to the Solution of Instructional or Curricular Problems (5),
    • Synthesize Knowledge (1),
    • Communicate Knowledge (3), and
    • Think Critically and Reflectively (4).
    • It also has implications for but does not specifically address Teach Engineering (10).
  • Provide a “community of practice” culture in which students have opportunities to form their own community as well as participate within the broader community of engineering education via engagement in our practices, methods, and beliefs.


  • Develop and articulate an engineering design approach for content, assessment and pedagogy.
  • Critically describe the research-based features of each of the elements – content, assessment and pedagogy.
  • Apply the principles and theories to the design of a course, module, lesson plan, or other instructional setting.

COURSE ACTIVITIES: Course activities will involve:

  • Explore content, assessment and pedagogy – via textbooks, journal articles and archival research – and through reflection, writing and dialogue.
  • Reflect on and discuss the integration of content, assessment and pedagogy
  • Develop a written argument for an integrated curriculum design project (e.g. the Project Paper described on pages 4-5).


We will use the following texts that we think would be a valuable contribution to your personal library:

  • Hansen, E.J. (2011). Idea-based learning: A course design process to promote conceptual understanding. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Pellegrino, J.W., Chudowsky, N., and Glaser, R. (Eds.). (2001). Knowing what students know: The science and design of educational assessment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • Perkins, D. N. (2009). Making learning whole: How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

We will also use several articles that will be made available on Blackboard.

  • Anderson, L. R. and Krathwohl, D. W. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Chapter 1. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. (Notes based on Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass). Posted with author’s permission.
  • Pellegrino, J. W. (2006). Rethinking and redesigning curriculum, instruction and assessment: What contemporary research and theory suggests. Paper commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy for the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.
  • Shulman, L. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134(3), 52-59.
  • Smith, K., Sheppard, S., Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (2005). Pedagogies of engagement: classroom-based practices. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 87-101.
  • Streveler, R.A, Smith, K.A., & Pilotte, M. (2012). Aligning course content, assessment, and delivery: Creating a context for outcomes-based education. In Khairiyah Mohd Yusof, Shahrin Mohammad, Naziha Ahmad Azli, Mohamed Noor Hassan, Azlina Kosnin & Sharifah Kamilah Syed Yusof (Eds.). Outcome-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics: Innovative Practices. (pp. 1 – 26). Hersey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Svinicki, M.D. & McKeachie W. J. (2011). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers, Thirteenth Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Chapter 7. Assessing, testing, and evaluating: Grading is not the most important function, pp. 72-82.
  • Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Chapter 1. What is backward design?

Other useful resources (Optional)

Students will develop an individual reading list for their respective curriculum design project.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: This is a graduate level class with a strong focus on the design of learning environments. It is our hope that by being transparent with our course design philosophies and practices, you as the student will learn about content and ways of teaching and assessing. It is our belief that through engaging in this learning environment you will master the content, draw connections to personal research interests, and push yourself to a higher level of thinking in engineering education.

Two deliverables will be assessed to determine your final grade for this course.

  1. 20% of your grade will be earned by your class participation as measured by (1) participation in in-class activities and discussions (5%) and (2) presenting a poster that summarizes your project to the class (15%).
  2. 80% of your grade will be earned by writing a final project paper. See pages 4-5 for a detailed description of the elements that must be part of your paper. Only final draft of the project paper will be graded. You will receive detailed formative feedback (ungraded) on two (optional but HIGHLY recommended) drafts. Each section of the final paper will be assessed on the following three criteria: clarity, evidence, and alignment.


The research is clear – long-term learning takes place only when accompanied by deliberate, distributed practice. To accomplish that end, this class is structured so that there is opportunity for reflection and iteration. Detailed feedback will be provided as you develop your ideas. Our philosophy is that:

  • Successful learning is fostered by clear objectives and expectations.
  • Learning is a social activity, and you will be encouraged to “think together” with your classmates.
  • Reading and writing are essential parts of the thinking process and you will be asked to use writing to DEVELOP your ideas (not only to document your “final” project).

We expect that you will:

  1. Attend all classes. If you must miss a class, please let us know and make arrangements with other class members for a summary and review. Note that class sessions will be recorded using Boilercast.
  2. Fully engage in all classes. Full engagement requires reading and reflecting on all assigned materials by the assigned time, actively participating in class discussions and activities, and completing quality work. Full engagement also means being attentive in class and limiting use of electronic devices to class-related activities such as taking notes or viewing slides.
  3. Develop your final paper throughout the semester by submitting drafts and continually reflecting on how course material relates to your project.
  4. Follow scholastic conduct policy: a href="https://www.purdue.edu/odos/academic-integrity/">https://www.purdue.edu/odos/academic-integrity/
  5. Complete and submit a thoughtful online course evaluation.

You can expect that we (the instructional team) will:

  1. Provide a supportive learning environment that fosters your success.
  2. Create assignments and exercises that are meaningful to you.
  3. Provide detailed, constructive formative feedback on your project drafts.
  4. Honor and respect your interests.

From our experience teaching this course several times, we have found that the most successful students:

  1. Create early drafts that are thoughtful and complete.
  2. Think deeply about intended learning outcomes of their course project.
  3. Are open to new ways of thinking about curriculum design and the target domain of their project.


Project paper [note that examples from past classes are posted on Blackboard]

The principal assignment for the course is an individual project paper that is due 11:59pm Friday, May 8, 2015. The production of this final curriculum design project paper will occur in a series of stages:

  1. A first draft that begins to show the development of your ideas and is grounded in conceptual and theoretical frameworks.
  2. A second draft that further develops your ideas. Ideally, this draft will contain all sections of your final paper.
  3. A poster presentation of your project.
  4. A final draft that integrates all the stages and incorporates feedback from previous drafts. Only the final draft will be assigned a grade. You will receive ungraded formative feedback to improve your final draft on your first and second drafts and at the poster presentation.

Note that the claims in the paper should be supported with evidence. This is particular important in the sections marked below with *. Evidence may come from: (1) your experience learning or teaching the content, (2) expert opinion about the content (for example from textbooks or statements written about what is important in that area) or (3) the discipline-based education research literature. For the purposes of this assignment, your experience will be considered the “weakest” source of evidence and research studies the “strongest.” The reasoning behind this judgment about evidence is to encourage learners in this course to break out of their assumptions about “the way things are” regarding a particular content area.

The final paper will include the following areas:

  1. A title for your project that identifies your “target domain” and setting
  1. Introduction
    1. Description of the setting for the curriculum project
      1. Salient characteristics of the institution or sponsoring organization where the instruction will take place
      2. Description of the salient characteristics of the intended learners of this instruction
        1. What is their background in the target domain?
        2. What is their developmental level or age?
        3. Other important issues to consider? (Examples might be: commuter students, working adults with many responsibilities, weak educational background, children with special needs).
      3. Other important contextual issues especially any external constraints placed on the instruction
    2. Your motivation for selecting this target domain
      1. Your own expertise in the area
      2. How this might be useful to you in your career
  1. Content
    1. List the Curricular Priorities for your target content area.
      1. What are the enduring outcomes?
      2. What is important to know?
      3. What is good to be familiar with?
    2. Create a concept map (graphic) of the curricular priorities listed in 2.a. The concept map should show the relationships among the curricular priorities listed in 2a.
      1. Describe your concept map in words.
      2. Describe in words, in a table, or by using color-coding, how your concept map aligns with your curricular priorities.
    3. How do people learn what you have identified as the enduring outcome(s) in your target domain?
      1. What difficult concepts or misconceptions have been identified?*
      2. How do people develop as they progress as they build more expertise in this area? *
  1. Assessment
    1. Create a list of all learning objectives for the instruction. Mark the three most important learning objectives (see 3.c and 3.d).
    2. Describe in words or in a table, how each of the learning objectives listed in 3.a aligns with the curricular priorities listed in 2.a.
    3. Create a table that shows how all of the learning objectives referred to in 3.a fit into a taxonomy of learning objectives. See sample papers for what this table might look like.
    4. Create one Assessment Triangle that links the information about how people learn in your target domain (2.c above) with the kinds of assessments you’ll use to measure student learning.
    5. Create an Assessment Worksheet for each of the three most important learning objectives marked in 3.a)
    6. Select an assessment listed in one of the Assessment Worksheets in 3.e and explain why this is an authentic assessment (per Hansen).
    7. Create a rubric for evaluating (grading) the authentic assessment listed in 3.f.
  1. Pedagogy.
    1. Show how you will create a learning environment that addresses each of the seven principles suggested in Making Learning Whole.
      1. This section may be formatted as a table or as prose with subheadings for each principle.
      2. Be sure that you have a specific example of how each principle will be used. For example, don’t just say: “I will have students work in teams.” Instead, discuss how the groups will be formed, what specific activities the teams will accomplish, and how the learning environment will foster teamwork.
      3. Align the pedagogy you will use for the “Working on the Hard Parts” principle with the claims you made in section 2.c.i.
    2. A lesson plan for one section of instruction (for example, for one class period if your instruction is organized in a series of class period). The lesson plan should include:
      1. A list of activities
      2. A timeline
      3. And should apply at least three of the principles from Making Learning Whole.
    3. Include a syllabus that has the following sections:
      1. Course goals, objectives, and expectations. [Your objectives should be the same as those listed in 3.a].
      2. Criteria for grading and grading standards. [Be sure this aligns with your Assessment section].
      3. Specific criteria for each graded assignment.
      4. Description of what the class will be like, including a description of and rationale for your teaching methods. [Be sure this is consistent with your Pedagogy section].
      5. Clear guidelines detailing how students are to prepare for and behave during a class session. (e.g. read the assignments BEFORE class, come on time, participate in discussion, etc.).
      6. Statement describing what students can expect from you as their instructor.
      7. Advice on how to read/approach the materials for this class.
      8. Advice on how to study for quizzes and exams if applicable.
      9. A schedule of material to be learned each time the students meet (e.g. at every class meeting).
  1. Overall synthesis.
    1. In one or two paragraphs, identify how your choices for content, assessment, and pedagogy are aligned.

NOTE ON REMOTE ACCESS: In addition to posting slides and course materials on the course Blackboard site, this course will be recorded (audio and slides) on Boilercast. In the event that the University is closed for an extended period of time due to a weather or health emergency, class sessions will be held remotely.

ACCOMODATIONS: If you are a person with special circumstances that you believe will affect your class performance (e.g., visual, hearing or learning disabilities or language differences) please let us know if we can make appropriate accommodations. The Adaptive Services website is located at: http://www.purdue.edu/disabilityresources/.

COURSE SCHEDULE for Spring 2015


Class focus

Assigned readings due

Deliverables due

Jan 12


Course overview, introductions, CAP model



Jan 19


MLK Holiday


Jan 26

C #1

Knowledge centered aspect of content. Curricular priorities. Concept mapping.

Hansen (2011) – Chapter 2

Streveler, Smith & Pilotte (2012)

Wiggins & McTighe (1998)

Bring idea for curriculum project to class


Feb 2

C #2

Learner-centered aspect of “content.” How do students learn in your target domain? (Part 1)

Pellegrino article (2006)

Svinicki (2004) – Chapters 1, 2, 3




Feb 9

C #3

How do students learn in your target domain? (Part 2) Difficult concepts.

Hansen (2011) – Chapter 5

Perkins (2009) – Chapter 3

Svinicki (2004) – Chapters 4, 5


Feb 16

A #1

Linking content and assessment. Learning objectives, taxonomies.

Anderson & Krathwohl (2001)

Fink (2003)



Feb 23

A #2

Assessment triangle Assessment worksheet

Hansen (2011) – Chapter 6

Pellegrino (2001) – Chapters 2, 3


Mar 2

A #3

Survey of assessment methods, classroom assessment techniques

Hansen (2011) – Chapters 7, and 8

Svinicki & McKeachie (2011)


Mar 9

Linking content and assessment synthesis. Preview of pedagogy.


Bring a hardcopy of first draft of project paper to class for peer review. Post first draft to Blackboard by 11:59pm on Tuesday, March 10.

Mar 16




Mar 23

P #1

Perkin’s model of making learning whole

Lesson plans

Perkins (2009), entire book except Chapter 3 (read previously)


Mar 30

P #2

Motivation and individual differences Feedback on first draft is posted of Blackboard.

Svinicki (2004) – Chapters 7, 8


April 6

P #3

Pedagogies of engagement (guest lecture, Karl Smith)

Shulman (2005)

Smith et al. (2005)


April 13


Integration of CAP


Bring one hardcopy of second draft of project paper to April 13 class for peer review. Post draft to Blackboard on, Tuesday, April 14 by 11:59pm

April 20


Student poster presentations



April 27

Student poster presentations Feedback on second draft is posted on Blackboard.



May 4

Finals weeks


Post the final draft of your project paper to Blackboard by Friday, May 8, at 11:59pm.