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Assessing Chemical Engineering Education As It Is Delivered

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.113.1 - 5.113.5



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Joseph A. Shaeiwitz

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

Session 3513

Assessing Chemical Engineering Education as it is Delivered Joseph A. Shaeiwitz West Virginia University


Is the typical response to the need to develop an outcomes assessment plan to leave the curriculum and routine teaching activities fundamentally unchanged and to implement alumni questionnaires, exit interviews and questionnaires, and perhaps some type of portfolio assessment? These are mostly summative assessment instruments that are added on to the existing curriculum. Feedback from this type of assessment plan has a significant time lag since most of the assessment is done at the end of or beyond the curriculum. An alternative assessment plan would include many of the above summative instruments plus ongoing formative assessment activities where the time lag for feedback is much shorter. This latter alternative is the subject of this paper. Some may consider the ideas presented below to be a fantasy, especially at research-oriented universities. However, if EC 2000 is to be successful and if those who publicly claim that their universities will focus more on undergraduate education are serious, the ideas presented in this paper may become more of a reality than a fantasy.

According to Boyer, curricula are disjointed, fractured, and unstructured.1 Courses in the curriculum do not always have a relationship to the goals of the curriculum, if such goals actually exist.2 The AAHE basic assessment principles include:3

• Assessment is most effective when it reflects an understanding of learning as multidimensional, integrated, and revealed in performance over time

• Assessment requires attention to outcomes, but also and equally to the experiences that lead to these outcomes

• Assessment works best when it is ongoing.

Application of these three basic assessment principles are viewed as a major step in addressing the problems of a disjointed curriculum with content unrelated to curriculum goals. The idea is to assess education as it is delivered, to integrate assessment with teaching and make assessment part of an instructors every day activities.

The ideas presented below are a few that might be used to assess education as it is delivered. The examples are by no means exhaustive. What is most important is the concept that successful assessment occurs continuously. Successful assessment is part of the ongoing instructional activity, not an add-on to an unaltered curriculum.

Shaeiwitz, J. A. (2000, June), Assessing Chemical Engineering Education As It Is Delivered Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8170

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