Communication, Teaming, and Research Skills

Using Oral Quizzes in an Engineering Mechanics Course

  • Jamie Douglas (University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley)
  • Rachel Knighten (University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley)


Engineers are required to be competent technical experts and also effective communicators. This paper describes the development of a rubric for oral quizzes in engineering mechanics courses. The rubric was developed collaboratively with the engineering and world languages departments, and tested in a single section of Engineering Mechanics: Statics in the spring of 2014. The goals of the oral quizzes were to increase students’ comfort with explaining a solution method, competency using appropriate technical language, and ability to organize the problem solving method. Oral quizzes (versus pen-and-paper or online quizzes) also provide the instructor with the ability to immediately prompt a student who might be unsure of how to proceed with a problem and identify misconceptions or areas of weakness for specific students. The rubrics provide a means to measure the student performance in each of the goal areas: technical language, organization, content, clarity, and attitude. This paper includes anecdotal evidence from students on their attitudes about the oral quizzes, and compares performance on oral quizzes with the same questions given in a traditional format.

How to Cite:

Douglas, J. & Knighten, R., (2014) “Using Oral Quizzes in an Engineering Mechanics Course”, 2014 ASEE North Midwest Section Conference 2014(1), 1-8. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2014, Jamie Douglas and Rachel Knighten

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Published on
17 Oct 2014
Peer Reviewed