June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.239.1 - 7.239.15
Main Menu Session 2613
Assessment Methods for Engineering Programs - Too Many Choices or Not Enough?
Dana E. Knox
Department of Chemical Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ 07102
When departments begin to prepare for their accreditation visit under the new EC2000 criteria being used by ABET, they usually begin to search for assessment methods that they can readily include in their self-study report. Often the result is that they develop a number of new surveys and then use them to demonstrate their commitment to self-assessment. There are better ways to proceed!
Most programs have had a long history of self-assessment and improvement. However, they may not realize it. And they may have little to document it. In the two years leading up to our accreditation visit, we met and discussed in depth all the myriad ways in which we seek to improve our program. Much to our surprise, we came up with quite a long list of assessment tools for our program, most of which were already in place in some form or other. The main task we confronted was documentation of processes already in place. And while surveys are indeed present, and perhaps the most easily quantifiable, they are probably not the most useful if the goal is actual improvement of the educational process.
This paper will discuss the various assessment tools that our department identified, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. It will also discuss the usefulness of each tool as well as their role in documenting commitment to self-assessment and improvement for the purpose of accreditation by ABET.
Introduction to Accreditation Process
Engineering and related programs in the United States are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Schools appl y to the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET to seek accreditation for their engineering degree programs. ABET/EAC, in conjunction with the various professional societies, sets the criteria that are used to evaluate programs being considered for accreditation. These criteria have in recent years been revised with the introduction of the EC2000 Criteria 1, which replace the earlier Conventional Criteria. These changes have been the subject of much recent literature 2-15 so only a short summary will be given here. “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”
Knox, D. (2002, June), Assessment Methods For Engineering Programs Too Many Choices Or Not Enough? Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10601
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