San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.104.1 - 25.104.12
A strategy for sustainable outcomes assessment across a mechanical engineering curriculum that maximizes faculty engagementAs part of continuous improvement of the program and ABET accreditation requirements, directassessment methods of student outcomes are necessary and quite illustrative in terms ofdescribing student learning. Direct assessment methods range from evaluating studentperformance on locally prepared examinations or standardized tests to assessing studentportfolios or performing performance appraisals. Choice of the methods depends on a range offactors including number of students in the program, impact on faculty workload andappropriateness of sample size. One of the challenges in implementing a successful directassessment process is engaging the faculty and achieving a high level of participation andsupport. Here we describe the development and successful implementation of direct assessmentprocesses for a large mechanical engineering program with 1250 students and 30 faculty. Themain considerations during the development phase to promote sustainability included: 1)distribution of student outcomes assessment across sophomore-senior level courses; 2)maximizing faculty engagement and participation while minimizing workload and; 3) leveragingstudent participation in national standardized examinations. The development process consistedof engaging faculty in (re)establishing course outcomes for the courses in the curriculum wherean overwhelming majority of the students in the program take the course on campus rather thantransferring credit in. This resulted in nine sophomore-senior level courses for our programincluding the capstone design experience course. Faculty responsible for teaching a given coursethen were asked to 1) map course outcomes to student outcomes and; 2) rank order the studentoutcomes for their course. This identifies the relative importance of each of the studentoutcomes from the perspective of the courses in the curriculum. This information was then usedto assign two-three outcomes for each course to assess through assessment of the relevant courseoutcomes. Since these outcomes were based on faculty-ranked importance for a given course,faculty are more likely to actively participate in the assessment as it provides them withinformation on student learning on aspects they feel are critical for a given course. An excelspreadsheet was created to help faculty design assessment instruments and record theirassessment data, which allowed easy compilation and reporting. In addition, results of FEexamination data were used to supplement assessment of some of the student outcomes(mathematics, thermodynamics and chemistry, Ethics and Business Practice). This process waspiloted in Spring 2011 to identify potential issues, which were addressed and is now fullyimplemented. Assessment of the process itself indicates high level of faculty satisfaction andinvolvement, suggesting that the process is a sustainable one.
Sundararajan, S. (2012, June), A Strategy for Sustainable Outcomes Assessment Across a Mechanical Engineering Curriculum that Maximizes Faculty Engagement Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20864
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: © 2012 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