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Assessing And Refining Ec 2000

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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

6.208.1 - 6.208.10



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Neelam Soundarajan

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

Session 2793

Assessing and Refining EC 2000 Neelam Soundarajan Computer & Information Science Dept. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 e-mail:

Abstract The goal of this paper is to consider the impact on engineering programs of various aspects of EC 2000 such as the focus on well-specified processes for defining and evaluating program objectives, or the requirement of well-defined assessment and feedback mechanisms; and possible ways to refine and further improve EC 2000, in particular Criteria 2 and 3, so that the impact on engineering education is as positive as it can be. Criterion 2 requires, in part, that the program have educational objectives that are deter- mined and periodically evaluated based on the needs of various constituencies. Constituents typically include current and prospective students, alumni, local industry, etc. These con- stituents, in the experience of the author’s program as well as that of others, often tend to be more interested in relatively short-term skills of immediate value and less interested in ideas and concepts that are likely to form the basis of engineering practice over the long run; similarly, these constituents may also not value highly the importance of a broad education including social and ethical issues underlying engineering. This contrasts sharply with the importance that most engineering faculty attach to these issues, and the stress that even EC 2000 (for example, outcome (3.h)) places on these issues. Possible ways of addressing this conflict are considered in the paper. Given the importance of assessment in EC 2000, most programs use a range of assessment instruments such as alumni surveys and employer surveys in an attempt to measure how well the objectives and outcomes of the program are being achieved. However, the reliability of these surveys is not entirely clear. The paper considers these issues and presents some alternative assessment and feedback mechanisms to address these concerns.

Note: It is important to note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author as an individual educator and researcher. They do not in any way reflect the official position of the Ohio State University, its College of Engineering, or the Dept. of Computer & Information Science. Further, throughout the paper, ‘I, my’ etc. refer to the author; ‘we, our’ etc. refer to the faculty of the CIS Department as a whole.

1. Introduction By now it is well understood in the engineering community that preparing for accreditation evaluation under Engineering Criteria 2000 (henceforth abbreviated EC2000) is a demanding task4, 8, 6 . Perhaps the most challenging of the EC2000 requirements are those that have to do with objectives, outcomes, and assessments. Traditionally, most engineering programs have not paid much explicit attention to these issues, focusing instead on curricular questions8 . This was certainly the case with the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) program in the Computer and Information Science (CIS) Department at Ohio State until about

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright c 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Soundarajan, N. (2001, June), Assessing And Refining Ec 2000 Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8920

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