Assessing Computer-Aided Design Skills

Assessing Computer-Aided Design Skills

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch642
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This chapter discusses the difficulties of CAD assessment through examining and reviewing existing CAD examination questions in Hong Kong. Based on the review, limitations of the current assessment are highlighted. It is argued that the existing method is inconsistent with the problem solving nature of the software and is unable to assess students with high ability and advanced drawing skills. Recommendation and improvement directions are suggested in the chapter to optimize the quality of assessment. Other subjects which also involve assessment of computer skills and design may also benefit from the recommendations.
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The term computer-aided design appeared in the late 1960s (Abbas, 1976). Since then, many different disciplines of engineering applied CAD, and the industries also needed staff possessing this kind of skills to make their designs and products to catch up with the trend. Educational and academic institutes had also started to introduce CAD courses to their students. Some institutes had offered CAD course as an elective subject, or combined the knowledge of CAD in other existing subjects related to engineering design. Specialized and short courses of CAD were very popular in various engineering disciplines and increasingly in design disciplines. As students in design disciplines had not got any technical training, they encountered difficulties in using the computer software, and sometimes they could not get what they wanted through CAD. Apparently, this discrepancy is getting smaller over the years, and now students without technical background are able to use computer software to assist design effortlessly. This is primary due to the popularization of computer technology in the last few decades.

Nowadays, CAD has been extending its application in other disciplines such as mathematics, music and geography. Various kinds of CAD software have been developed to attract the attention of the industries and the academia. The software may possess similar function but different layouts and orientations to provide choices for different needs of the customers. However, due to limitation in resource and time in universities, tutors and lecturers can only teach the selected software based on the actual needs. Students have to explore other software by themselves. Some secondary school teachers have also noticed the needs and started to contact the software companies to buy school license for the computers in the computer laboratories. They have started to rearrange the curriculum and put CAD knowledge and abilities as one of the learning outcomes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer Approach: The approach of using computer to assess CAD ability of students.

Design and Applied Technology: A secondary school subject in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education. It focuses on problem solving through hands-on design activities.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD): The design activities which are aided by computer technology. These design activities include creation, analysis, modification and evaluation.

CAD Education: The learning and teaching activities of CAD. This is a collective term including all kinds of education in various learning institutes and schools at different levels.

CAD Assessment: The strategies or methods in assessing the knowledge or skills acquired in CAD. In this chapter, it refers to assessment at any levels.

Paper-and-Pencil Approach: The approach of using paper and pencil to assess CAD ability of students.

Problem Solving: The physical and cognitive activity of solving a problem. In this chapter, it refers to one of the essential roles of design and also CAD.

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