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A Unified And Quantitative Approach To Assessment

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.121.1 - 6.121.17

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George DeLancey

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

Session number 1608

A Unified and Quantitative Approach to Assessment

George B. DeLancey Chemical Engineering Program Stevens Institute of Technology

I. Introduction

A description is given of the assessment system that is being implemented at the School of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology for outcomes based assessment. The system meets Criteria 2, 3, and 8 of ABET (see Appendix I). The discussion is centered on the unified nature of the system, the quantitative features arising out of outcomes based grading, called distributed grading, and the use of web-based technology.

Our approach is unified throughout the full engineering curriculum. The goals of the engineering curriculum are grouped under three major categories: I. Broad Based Technical Expertise, II. Professional Advancement and Communications, III. World View and Personal Development. The individual goals are methodically linked to classroom and educational activities though well- defined steps that result in the expression of Program Objectives and Outcomes, as well as detailed course objectives in all courses, in all programs, under a single assessment umbrella. Course objectives are thereby explicitly linked to the educational mission of the school.

This linkage is used to assess outcomes totally within the context of the goals of the engineering school and the embedded Program Objectives. Student performance in a course is unfolded across assessment methods as in current practice but at the same time is distributed across Program Outcomes in a similar quantitative fashion. The grade distribution at the course level is projected to the program and engineering curriculum levels and thereby tied to Program Outcomes and curricular goals in a quantitative way. This permits feedback processes to have targeted information and curricular studies to be aware of curricular emphasis on individual stated outcomes, objectives and goals. Software was developed locally to facilitate this distributed grading procedure, including transmission of results over the web.

Student and faculty perceptions concerning the degree of difficulty, the quality of learning, the contribution to professional development, and the priorities for improvement relative to each program outcome at the course level are being measured. The objective is to synchronize faculty and student perceptions towards learning as well as to promote self-assessment. Web based commercial software is used to conduct these surveys.

Feedback is achieved by an interactive system consisting of three loops at the Course, Program and Engineering Curriculum levels. The functional elements of the feedback system are the Faculty, the Program Curriculum Committees, the Engineering Education and Assessment

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright© 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

DeLancey, G. (2001, June), A Unified And Quantitative Approach To Assessment Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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