Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Electrical and Computer
With the hard roll-out of ABET’s new outcomes 1-7 in the 2019-20 accreditation season, engineering programs across the country are re-examining and re-tooling their ABET assessment processes. Some are content to map the old a-k outcomes to the new 1-7, even though not all elements in the new version have a direct mapping to the older criteria. Others are taking the opportunity to re-evaluate their assessment procedures for efficiency and sustainability, while determining how to include new elements of 1-7. Faced with the difficulty of acquiring student work artifacts from supporting departments and the problem of gaining buy-in for continuing assessment from over-burdened faculty, the author developed an efficient and sustainable assessment program based on only three courses, all of which xe taught: a computer ethics course required of all majors of both Computer Science and Computer Engineering, and the two semesters of the Computer Engineering capstone design sequence. The program, based on the author’s extensive experience as an ABET program evaluator and as a former commissioner on the EAC, formed the basis of the recent successful initial ABET accreditation evaluation of the new Computer Engineering program at the XXXX University—that this positive evaluation took place in the first semester in which the revised criteria were effective is regarded as particularly notable. While an earlier version of this work described this process as a partially implemented strategy [XXXX], the plan has now been completely detailed, implemented, and validated by the ABET visit, which found no shortcomings whatsoever. This paper describes the assessment processes, along with the two-year cycle of the assessment schedule, and gives examples of assessment artifacts and rubrics. Other required ABET elements, such as a timeline for evaluation and improvement of Program Educational Objectives, are tied in to the assessment schedule to assure that no required parts are omitted. Ironically, the only difficulty associated with the successful implementation of this method was the perception by the engineering college administration that the plan was too simple and easy: in the semester before the ABET visit, the author was repeatedly and strongly urged to do more—more assessment of more courses with more artifacts, more complicated rubrics and more byzantine analysis. Xe was eventually allowed to proceed as planned only if willing to “take responsibility” for the results. The paper also discusses the implications on assessment of the new definitions added by ABET, such as those of complex problems and engineering design, and describes some common assessment errors and how to avoid them. While each program should thoughtfully develop its own assessment plan based on its curriculum, its students and the resources available, this paper can serve as an example blue-print for an effective assessment process for programs with few faculty, faced with establishing an effectual, efficient assessment process that can be sustained in the long-term.
McCullough, C. L. (2020, June), Can ABET Assessment Really Be This Simple? Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34253
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