June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.326.1 - 15.326.13
Costs of Assessment in Engineering Technology Programs
Assessment of outcomes recently became a critical activity for engineering technology departments after TAC/ABET changed from compliance of their traditional requirements to assessment of learning outcomes. ABET started requiring outcomes assessment at the engineering level earlier and only later implemented the same requirement for engineering technology programs.
Engineering technology departments began by trying to meet the new TAC/ABET requirement by copying assessment models used at engineering departments of universities with several decades of assessment experience. However, this was usually done without careful consideration of resources availability; and what is more important, the total costs associated with outcomes assessment. Description of assessment methods is plentiful in the literature but on the other hand, the literature is also rather poor on determining the true cost of assessing learning outcomes at institutions of higher education. The few available studies on this subject reveal costs that are usually a complete surprise to many faculty and administrators.
The cost factor is especially critical for engineering technology programs trying to adapt assessment methods used by larger and wealthier departments. On the other hand these departments can assess their outcomes by methods that are not available to other disciplines due to the specialized mission of engineering technology programs. The paper looks at the costs of assessment activities and the alternatives available for engineering technology taking in consideration the cost factor that is critical for the success of the development and implementation of continuous assessment of outcomes. The results of this study should yield useful information and suggestions for engineering technology departments seeking positive accreditation action under current TAC/ABET guidelines.
Assessment of academic outcomes and objectives is a new activity for most engineering technology departments. The activity referred to as “assessment” in this paper is the academic version of industrial quality control familiar to engineers working in industry. This view of assessment helps faculty members with an engineering background and industrial experience to better understand costs, goals, and operative requirements of assessment. Faculty of engineering technology departments working on assessment should keep in mind the relationship with quality control in order to evaluate resources, costs, goals and other hidden details of assessment.
Assessment of outcomes became a critical activity for engineering departments in 2000 when ABET changed their traditional requirements for accreditation to outcomes-based which requires assessment of learning outcomes (or quality control). The Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of ABET also started requiring outcomes assessment of programs soon thereafter.
Gomez-Rivas, A., & Campbell, L., & Pincus, G. (2010, June), Cost Of Assessment In Engineering Technology Programs Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16491
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