Currently there are numerous opportunities for students to participate in design-based experiences organized by local schools and clubs, government laboratories and national organizations. While these programs can inspire students' interest in STEM, there are no commonly accepted frameworks to benchmark learning and instruction in order to study students' growth in STEM knowledge and skills or their self-efficacy and persistence to pursue STEM or to recognize their achievements based on common measures.
The purpose of this proposal, "Engineering Design Process Portfolio Scoring Rubric (EDPPSR)" is to test the efficacy of the EDPPSR scoring system that could be applied to differentiate levels of performance in the domain of the engineering design based projects. The intent of the study is to determine the reliability and validity of the EDPPSR across student work produced in diverse contexts (formal versus informal, low versus high stakes, high school versus college) and under different conditions (individual versus group work, self-initiated versus assigned, etc.). The proposed study is a critical step in the scale-up of a validated and reliable scoring tool that could be used to evaluate design-based projects and to inform instructional practice. Specifically, the EDPPSR is proposed as the format for a future engineering advanced placement exam. The research questions which will guide the project are: 1. Which types of artifacts provided as portfolio entries may constitute evidence of proficiency in each ESPPSR element? 2. How will artifact types be likely to differ within/across diverse contexts and conditions? 3. Do the rubric criteria address any content extraneous to the engineering design process or are any irrelevant to the construct? 4. Do criteria accurately and fully address all elements of the engineering design process?
A validated and reliable ESPPSR could potentially lead to students gaining admission, recognition or even undergraduate placement credit for their project-based activities and could impact the recruitment of talented students into the STEM pipeline and could inform the recruitment of students from under-represented groups.