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Assessment of ABET Student Outcomes During Industrial Internships

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

ABET and Curriculum-Level Assessments

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.253.1 - 22.253.23



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Paper Authors


Karyn L. Biasca University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

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Karyn Biasca is a Professor in the Paper Science and Engineering Department, where she has taught since 1989. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1981 and worked for Kimberly-Clark Corporation as a process engineer for three years. Finding the career paths available within the corporate environment unappealing, she returned to graduate school, earning her Ph.D. from the Institute of Paper Chemistry (Appleton, WI) in 1989. Her current research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, especially on the effectiveness of electronic portfolios for engineering education. The application of life-cycle assessment in the pulp and paper industry is another major area of research interest.
Biasca is the ABET Liaison and Assessment Coordinator for the PSEN program. She received the 2004-05 Excellence in Teaching Award from UWSP, and represented UWSP as a Wisconsin Teaching Scholar during the 2007-08 academic year.

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Steve Hill University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point

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Dr. Steve Hill is an Assistant Professor of media studies in the Division of Communication, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. He is a member of an interdisciplinary team at UWSP that is using electronic portfolios to measure assessment of student learning outcomes.

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Assessment of ABET Student Outcomes During Industrial InternshipsThe Paper Science and Engineering (PSEN) program at UW-Stevens Point has had a three-creditindustrial internship requirement for the last 35 years. Assessment of this requirement wasaccomplished by having each student write a lengthy paper covering the technology of the pulpand paper industry and the processes and products of the mill in which the student worked. Thisassessment method worked well until roughly ten years ago, when mills began retaining thereports, claiming that they contained proprietary information. At the time, the faculty decided toshare the rubric that was used to evaluate the students’ papers with the mill supervisors so thatthey would have a standard by which they could “grade” the students’ papers, as well as anevaluation form to provide feedback on the students’ work in the mill.A new approach to the assessment of these internships has been developed and used this year.Taking advantage of the capabilities of the online course management system Desire-2-Learn,students now respond to sixteen questions about their internship work while they are in the mill.These responses help students to remember the activities performed during the entire internship.When they return to campus, students build electronic portfolios that document their internshipwork, specifically addressing how their internship helped them to develop skills in several of theABET Student Outcomes for the PSEN program. These portfolios provide evidence that thefaculty can use to assess the level of achievement of the outcomes associated with theseinternships.This paper describes the assessment method in more detail, and the presentation will include ademonstration of the technology.

Biasca, K. L., & Hill, S. (2011, June), Assessment of ABET Student Outcomes During Industrial Internships Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17534

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