Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-15-45


When a student performed only some of the steps needed to solve a problem, this student gets partial credit. This partial credit is usually proportional to the number of stages that the student performed. This may sound reasonable, but in engineering education, this leads to undesired consequences: for example, a student who did not solve any of the 10 problems on the test, but who successfully performed 9 out of 10 stages needed to solve each problem will still get the grade of A ("excellent"). This may be a good evaluation of the student's intellectual ability, but for a engineering company that hires this A-level student, this will be an unexpected disaster. In this paper, we analyze this problem from the viewpoint of potential loss to a company, and we show how to assign partial credit based on such loss estimates. Our conclusion is that this loss (and thus, the resulting grade) depend on the size of the engineering company. Thus, to better understand the student's strengths, it is desirable, instead of a single overall grade, to describe several grades corresponding to different company sizes.