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A Unified Approach to the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes in Electrical Engineering Programs

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Assessment of Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.124.1 - 24.124.11



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Paper Authors


Youakim Kalaani Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Youakim Kalaani graduated from Cleveland State University with MS and Doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in power systems. He joined Georgia Southern University on August 2006 and is now an Associate Professor in the newly established Electrical Engineering Department at the College of Engineering and Information Technology. Dr. Kalaani has served as the Interim EE Chair and taught engineering courses at the undergraduate and garduate levels. He is a registered Professional Engineer and ABET Program Evaluator.

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Rami Jubrail Haddad Georgia Southern University

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Rami J. Haddad is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Georgia Southern University. He received the B.S. in Telecommunication and Electronics Engineering from the Applied Sciences University, Amman, Jordan, in 2004. He received his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, in 2006. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Akron, Akron, OH, in 2011. His research focuses on various aspects of optical fiber communication/networks, broadband networks, multimedia communications, multimedia bandwidth forecasting and engineering education.

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A Unified Approach to the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes in Electrical Engineering ProgramsNowadays, most engineering programs are expected to have some kind of accreditation requiredby government, graduate schools, and employers to ensure that students have the necessary skillsto succeed after graduation. Accreditation agencies such ABET and SACS have establishedmultiple sets of criteria or performance levels that an academic program has to demonstrate inorder to be accredited. For instance, ABET has put forward eleven student learning outcomeswhich cover basic skills like the ability to solve and design engineering systems to moreadvanced skills such as engaging in life-long learning and working on multidisciplinary teams. Inaddition, SACS also has its own set of requirements that an institution has to satisfy in order tobe accredited which may be different than those set by ABET. Therefore, complying withmultiple accreditation criteria has become a daunting task for any engineering program sincefaculty and administration alike will have to engage in a complex assessment process that is bothcostly and time consuming.In this paper, a unified approach to the assessment of student and program learning outcomes tosatisfy ABET and SACS accreditations criteria is proposed. This new approach takes intoconsideration the criteria of both accreditations to streamline the assessment process. As a result,a set of six skills categories were developed for SACS in which the eleven ABET studentlearning outcomes were embedded to satisfy both accreditation criteria. Furthermore astandardized set of artifacts and rubrics were also developed to measure each skill category basedon a given set of performance indicators. Data collected at the sophomore, junior and seniorlevels were recorded using a unified set of tables showing all the pertinent information needed toperform standard statistical analysis and to generate graphical presentation of the studentperformance at each level. For every outcome not meeting its benchmark, action plans weredevised to address the shortcomings and close the loop on the assessment process. This novelapproach was pilot tested this year for SACS and ABET accreditations and has proved to besimpler and more efficient than any other assessment methods used.

Kalaani, Y., & Haddad, R. J. (2014, June), A Unified Approach to the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes in Electrical Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20016

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