June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.187.1 - 12.187.11
Advantages of Using Personal Response System Technology to Evaluate ABET and Mechanical Engineering Program Outcomes
Personal Response System (PRS) is a tool typically employed to promote active learning in class, to increase participation, to measure conceptual comprehension, and to support Millennial Learners. At Gannon University, the evaluation and assessment activities of various Engineering programs’ outcomes, including those related to ABET outcomes, have been done in the last 5 years through a web-based exit survey. This presents the challenge that students are not forced to take the survey and typically a 100% response is never achieved. By introducing PRS as a means of assessing the outcomes, a 100% feedback is obtained through an immediate evaluation process. To conduct the study, seven courses in the Mechanical Engineering program were selected in order to insure a representation of the four years of undergraduate studies. Once the outcomes assessments are reviewed, action items are created for each class. These action items are implemented closing the loop. This paper describes the implementation of PRS as an outcomes evaluation tool and the advantages of this technique over the ones employed at the moment. Finally, the lessons learned and challenges experienced will be discussed.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Gannon University has been challenged by the low response to surveys. Since Spring 2002, the evaluation and assessment activities of various Engineering programs’ outcomes, including those related to ABET outcomes, have been done through a web-based exit survey. The online course exit survey is given for each mechanical engineering course the student is enrolled in a particular semester. This web-based exit survey assesses how well the course objectives for that course have been met and how well the assessment tools are working. In addition, the course objectives are directly linked to the program objectives and ABET outcomes. The web-based survey is done outside class; therefore, it has been difficult to gather data and convey to students the importance of their feedback. The university course evaluations, which are done during class time, are generic and do not address the specific course outcomes and program objectives. Alumni feedback has also been a challenge. A survey is given every year that contains questions pertaining to how well the program educational objectives have been realized in the workplace. Currently, only a 5% feedback is typically obtained from these surveys.
In an effort to meet this challenge and obtain a 100% response, Personal Response Systems (PRS) were adapted to evaluate the individual course outcomes. PRS are typically used to promote active learning. Students can listen to the lecture and then simultaneously respond to questions posed by faculty with the click of a button. In this pilot study, seven courses in the Mechanical Engineering program were selected in order to ensure a representation of the four years of undergraduate studies. In the following sections, ME programs outcomes are summarized, a brief description of the assessment process currently in place is presented, the implementation of the Personal Response Systems is described, and the results of this pilot effort are presented and discussed.
Vernaza, K., & Aggarwal, M. (2007, June), Advantages Of Using Personal Response System Technology To Evaluate Abet And Mechanical Engineering Program Outcomes Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2165
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