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Assessment Methods Under Abet Ec2000 At University Of Washington Lessons Learned: What Works And What Doesn't

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

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Page Numbers

7.240.1 - 7.240.11

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Michael Jenkins

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John Kramlich

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Main Menu Document: 2002-2032

Assessment Methods under ABET EC2000 at University of Washington – Lessons Learned: What Works and What Doesn’t

Michael G. Jenkins, John C. Kramlich

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA


Assessment methods used by the departments comprising eleven programs undergoing re- accreditation at the University of Washington College of Engineering (UW COE) under ABET EC2000 sometimes varied significantly. A post-visit analysis of these various assessment methods provided insight into lessons learned as to how well each method worked for each department. Although many assessment methods were, in general, similar from department to department (e.g., surveys or coursework) the implementation (and success) of these methods often differed considerably from department to department. Of even more interest were those methods that were unique to departments (e.g., self-assessments of individual courses) and the success of these methods. Comparison and contrast of these assessment methods replete with lessons learned can provide valuable feedback not only to individual departments within the UW COE, but also for departments at other universities still preparing for their first visits under ABET EC2000.


Assessment of programmatic and learning outcomes and objectives is a required aspect of the EC2000 criteria mandated for accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)1. Defining (and communicating) program objectives, educational processes, assessment /evaluation, and feedback are essential aspects of how engineering programs achieve their academic aims. Teaching students how to learn as well as assessing how well students learn are integral parts of this new paradigm in engineering education.

How much and how well students learn can be assessed if engineering instructors (who seldom have formal training in pedagogy) are cognizant of such concepts as Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive domain2 and Sousa’s illustration of the complexity and difficulty within the taxonomy3. The lowest to the highest levels of complexity of the taxonomy include knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. While complexity is associated with the level within the taxonomy, difficulty establishes the amount of effort required within each level4.

Communication (oral or literary), when coupled with experiential learning exercises reinforces the information assimilated during the exercises. Indeed the “cone of learning” shown in Figure 1 clearly indicates that greater than 90% retention can be achieved if a learning experience

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Jenkins, M., & Kramlich, J. (2002, June), Assessment Methods Under Abet Ec2000 At University Of Washington Lessons Learned: What Works And What Doesn't Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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