June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.265.1 - 8.265.12
Beyond ABET: A new school-wide process for continuous improvement in engineering education
Professor Dick K.P. Yue and Barbara Masi, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Having brought 13 programs successfully through ABET’s challenging new EC2000 accreditation requirements, the most interesting outcome of that process was the identification of how much more could be done to create a streamlined, effective continuous improvement process for all. In the year following MIT’s 2001 ABET review, the School of Engineering began implementation of a new school-wide continuous improvement process. The first step was the creation of a working team of departments and education specialists, the Engineering Council for Undergraduate Education (E-CUE). With broad jurisdiction over decision-making and resource allocation for education innovation projects in the School, E-CUE’s mission is to act as a School-wide forum for sharing ideas and coordinating and facilitating the education innovation process across the School and collaborating units. One of the first action items of E- CUE was to address the problem of the inefficient paper process for collecting subject and program level assessment and evaluation data. Drawing on faculty and department input, the new web-based system under development permits programs to easily access and track trends in senior, alumni, and freshman survey data and reports by learning outcome across years. In addition, the new system provides instructors with support tools that aid them in developing and assessing learning outcomes for each subject. The key role of E-CUE is to synthesize the wide range of assessment and evaluation data collected across the Institute, determine action, and allocate resources; the new web-based assessment system better enables E-CUE to carry out this role. An example of early action item was to address the weak connection between fundamental science and math subjects taken in the first year and practical engineering study; web-supported synthesis of many forms of data across departments including student performance and evaluation data, faculty evaluation and related reports enabled E-CUE to more rapidly identify problem areas, bring together a cross-department pilot team and develop solutions.
Having brought 13 programs successfully through ABET’s challenging new EC2000 accreditation requirements, the most interesting outcome of that process was the identification of how much more could be done to create a streamlined, effective continuous improvement process for all. There are four institutional levels for continuous education program improvement at many institutions: institution, school, department, and subject. As part of our post-ABET review, barriers to efficient continuous improvement at each level were identified. Barriers included lack of communication among the variety of committees at each level about education
Masi, B. (2003, June), Beyond Abet: A New School Wide Process For Continuous Improvement In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12159
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