June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.10.1 - 7.10.8
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
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. https://peer.asee.org/10857
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