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A Methodology For Direct Assessment Of Student Attainment Of Program Outcomes

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessment Methods

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

12.63.1 - 12.63.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1973

Download Count

741

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Paper Authors

author page

Scott Danielson Arizona State University

author page

Bradley Rogers Arizona State University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Methodology for Direct Assessment of Student Attainment of Program Outcomes

Abstract

While not directly required in Criterion 3 of the ABET accreditation criteria for engineering technology programs, some form of direct assessment of student attainment of program outcomes is generally expected. Unfortunately, direct assessment can be overlooked by program faculty, often leading to an over reliance on indirect assessments such as surveys. This paper describes a successful methodology for faculty-driven, direct assessment of student attainment of program outcomes. The method does not require sophisticated technology or require students to create or maintain portfolios. The system provides student attainment of program outcome data by course, thus enabling curriculum improvement. Also, the system directly links examples of student work to program outcomes—a significant advantage as it melds the old and new accreditation requirements regarding student work samples. The method configures the materials used by the faculty each semester for their assessment of outcomes in the same format as viewed by ABET evaluators during a visit. Thus, the assessment process is institutionalized and last minute ABET visit preparation minimized.

Introduction

The assessment of student attainment of program outcomes as required by ABET accreditation criteria presents challenges for engineering education programs. Criterion 3 of the 2007/2008 criteria for accrediting engineering technology programs states that programs must demonstrate that student assessments are being used as part of a broad, documented continuous improvement process. In addition, multiple assessment methods are to be used to “triangulate” data to ensure that program outcomes and objectives are being met. The Criteria goes on to suggest possible assessment methods, including “student portfolios, student performance in project work and activity-based learning; results of integrated curricular experiences; relevant nationally-normed examinations; results of surveys to assess graduate and employer satisfaction with employment, career development, career mobility, and job title; and preparation for continuing education”1. The details of these assessment procedures are left to the discretion of each institution. Using data from employer and graduate surveys is convenient because the results can be quantified and someone other than the faculty does the work of completing the surveys.

However, while not directly required in Criterion 3, some form of direct assessment of student attainment of program outcomes is generally expected. Unfortunately, direct assessment can be overlooked by program faculty, often leading to an over reliance on survey information or other indirect measures. In 2004, Gloria Rogers stated in her “How are we doing?” article in the ABET Communications Link2, “Most educational units are still depending on indirect methods such as surveys .... This is the most serious flaw in the current data collection methods observed ...” Anecdotal evidence gained from talking to individuals in various engineering technology programs indicates that direct versus indirect assessment is still a significant issue among engineering technology programs. The ABET web site provides information about assessment

Danielson, S., & Rogers, B. (2007, June), A Methodology For Direct Assessment Of Student Attainment Of Program Outcomes Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1973

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