Making a Case for Innovative Assessment Frameworks for Large Cohorts of Undergraduate Engineering Students on Management Units

Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo, Rukaiyatu Jungudo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Interdisciplinary units such as operations management are integral components of undergraduate education and their assessment methodologies immensely influence the attitudes of students, especially for engineering programmes that are accredited by external professional institutions. Users of the different forms of dominant assessments (mainly essays and multiple choice questions) often present very compelling arguments for their preferences. For example, essays are sometimes described as having the capabilities to assess deep learning but have limited coverage, while multiple choice questions (MCQs) can provide immense coverage but more suitable for assessing superficial learning. In addition to the costs attributable to their management (especially grading, compilation and collation of scores), it is very challenging if not impossible to achieve a perfect grading consistency with traditional essay-type assessments, especially when dealing with large cohorts. This is perhaps why the current body of knowledge clearly indicates that no single form of assessment is all encompassing, thereby paving ways for hybridization of multiple forms, so that the strength(s) of one type can adequately compensate for the weakness(es) of others. Based on these premises, the current article shares experiences related to the development and deployment of a hybrid assessment framework for an operations management unit delivered to 3rd year mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering students at the university of Manchester, UK. The framework comprises of 4 main classes of assessments — short zero weight independent (SZWI), MOCK zero weight independent (MZWI), light weight collaborative (LWC) and heavy weight independent (HWI) assessments. The framework has now been implemented during the last 2 academic sessions (2020/2021 and 2021/2022) and a comparision of the statistical indicators of student attainment in the unit over 5 different cohorts (2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022) show very consistent trends. Additionally, responses from the unit evaluation questions (UEQs) completed by the students mostly depict very good levels of satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Place of PublicationColumbus, Ohio
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7918-8669-4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023
EventASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition - Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, United States
Duration: 30 Oct 20223 Nov 2022


ConferenceASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Abbreviated titleASME-IMECE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Undergraduate engineering education
  • Interdisciplinary units
  • operations management
  • Assessment
  • hybridridisation


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