Submitting Campus



Aerospace Engineering

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



Standards based grading is a formal assessment mechanism that tests for student achievement of specified learning objectives, or standards. Standards-Based-Grading has been gaining in popularity in K-12 education, and also has been seeing increased use in higher education. With increased pressure from ABET to measure achievement of student outcomes, Standards-Based Grading provides a method to do that within the traditional course setting without having to generate a separate set of data outside the normal course grading. This paper describes how Standards-Based Grading was implemented in a junior-level fluid mechanics course that included both lecture and laboratory components. A total of nine learning objectives were specified for the course. These learning objectives are: calculate fluid thrust forces, calculate aerodynamic forces, solve pipe flow problems, select a pump for a system, select a flowmeter for a system, write a computer program to solve transient fluids problems, write a professional quality lab report, acquire and analyze laboratory data, and be a valuable member of team that successfully completes a project. The learning objectives can be mapped to ABET student outcomes. In this implementation of Standards-Based Grading, all assessments are done on a pass-fail basis. That is to say, there is no partial credit given. Once a student passes an assessment, usually given in the form of a quiz, on a given learning objective, it is assumed the student has mastered that concept and is not tested on it again. Students are allowed to re-test on particular objectives if they do not pass them on the first try. The final exam serves as a last chance for students to pass any objectives they did not complete earlier in the semester. Student achievement of the learning objectives is compared to that in previous semesters where a traditional grading scheme was used, and grade distributions are also compared.




American Society for Engineering Education


Indianapolis, IN

Paper Number


Number of Pages


Additional Information

Dr. Scott was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.