June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.124.1 - 23.124.12
A Tool for ABET AccreditationIntroduction: The accreditation process from ABET is anticipated with trepidation by academicinstitutions. The review process, however, is well defined and effective steps can be undertakento succeed in accreditation. Much of the uncertainty can be minimized. Based on our experienceand success we have developed a software package to automate the process. We propose todemonstrate a prototype at the conference.Background: ABET in their Criteria 3 indicate that “The program must have documentedstudent outcomes that prepare graduates to attain the program educational objectives.” Thecriteria are typically met across a number of junior and senior level courses. We use S/U(satisfactory/unsatisfactory) notation to identify whether a student met one or more of thesecriteria in a given course. Each faculty member should record these letter grades for each ofhis/her course students in a given semester. This is a large database of information. ABET alsoexpects us to show continuous improvement, that is, that the students are acquiring these skillsearlier in their career and more consistently. The present manual approach requires the ABETcoordinator to collect all of this info from professors who taught courses during the past 6 years.Our App automates the data collection, analysis, and presentation steps. We also wish to provideearly warnings so mentors and the department can advise students and schedule courses to satisfythe ABET Criteria 3. The ultimate goal would be to ensure that we are meeting all the ABETCriteria in their entirety, so the department and students find value in the exercise.Approach: We used the object oriented analysis and design approach in combination withtechniques for auto code generation. The former involves the following, chronologically anditeratively: (1) Identify the use cases; (2) Develop user requirements; and (3) Design UML classdiagrams. The latter uses open source EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework) which takes theUML class diagram as the input and generates GUI-based code automatically. This auto codegeneration covers the communication and interfacing aspects, the areas that typically causesoftware breakdowns. This ensures that the code is robust, maintainable, and scalable. Thebehavioral part of the code is local in its impact and can now be easily and rapidly added.Outcomes: Our prototype is undergoing evaluation. It has interfaces for the ABET Coordinator,individual faculty members, the Registrar’s Office, and the graduation coordinator. TheRegistrar’s office will populate a custom list of courses that is our course universe. Theprofessors will enter their S/U grades on a list provided by the software that is specific to theircourse and semester of offering. The tool will tabulate the results for all the students. Once thegraduation coordinator identifies the graduating students in a given semester, the tool willgenerate a tabulated view of the criteria 3 grades for all those students, and summarize the resultsand action items.Conclusions: We have developed a software tool that can help the engineering ABET facultycoordinators to manage the documentation for Criteria 3 in an easy and intuitive manner. Thetool will be extended later to provide early warnings and to provide actionable results.References:ABET (2012). General Criteria 3: Student Outcomes, Retrieved September 17, 2012, fromhttp://www.abet.org/engineering-criteria-2012-2013/Steinberg, D., Budinsky, F., Paternostro, M., and Merks, E. (2009). EMF Eclipse ModelingFramework (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.
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