Asee peer logo

A "Portfolio" Approach To Assessing The Industrial Engineering Curriculum At Wpi

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Assessment and Its Implications in IE

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.10.1 - 7.10.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Amy Zeng

author page

Arthur Gerstenfeld

author page

Sharon Johnson

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu Session 2557

A “Portfolio” Approach to Assessing the Industrial Engineering Curriculum at WPI

Sharon A. Johnson, Arthur Gerstenfeld, and Amy Z. Zeng Worcester Polytechnic Institute


One challenge in assessing the outcomes of engineering programs is to develop mechanisms that provide effective measurement and feedback, with reasonable effort. We describe a framework that we are piloting in the Industrial Engineering (IE) program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to evaluate student proficiency with respect to all of our program outcomes.

A number of mechanisms are used for outcomes assessment at WPI, including exit surveys, a peer review of the senior project, and alumni surveys. These mechanisms provide information about the extent to which our graduates meet a particular program outcome, but they do not tell us the extent to which our graduates meet all program outcomes. To develop insight into how completely our students meet program outcomes, we have devised a “portfolio” approach that combines specific course assignments with the senior project review to evaluate individual students across outcomes. We call the resulting collection of materials a portfolio because it ties together the work of individual students 4. We put the term “portfolio” in quotes because the primary purpose is assessment, rather than self-awareness about learning on the part of the student.

Our “portfolio” approach begins with the collection of assignments in core courses that are required for industrial engineering majors. At WPI, each student also completes a senior design project that is the equivalent of three courses. Because the project is such an extensive and critical part of the WPI curriculum, we have had a peer review system in place for project review for many years. The current “portfolio” approach extends this peer review of senior projects to include the collected course assignments. In addition to meeting course objectives, the assignments typically address outcomes that may not be demonstrated in the senior project, such as an understanding of global issues or ethics. The resulting assessment measures students’ achievement of all program outcomes.

Outcomes Assessment and the IE Program at WPI

As accrediting agencies have pushed toward outcomes assessment, many academic programs have revisited their mission statements and developed assessment mechanisms to demonstrate the accomplishments of their graduates. In particular, ABET has required that engineering programs specify program outcomes, statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation1. As part of the accreditation process, programs must evaluate and provide evidence that graduates satisfy these program outcomes. The results of this assessment are then used to make program improvements.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

Main Menu

Zeng, A., & Gerstenfeld, A., & Johnson, S. (2002, June), A "Portfolio" Approach To Assessing The Industrial Engineering Curriculum At Wpi Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10857

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015