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Course Assessment Plan: A Tool For Integrated Curriculum Management

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.308.1 - 6.308.11



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Paper Authors

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Robert Floersheim

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Stephen Ressler

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Margaret Bailey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Course Assessment Plan: A Tool for Integrated Curriculum Management

R. Bruce Floersheim, Margaret Bailey and Stephen J. Ressler United States Military Academy at West Point


As we enter the 21st Century in engineering education, a common desire exists to improve curriculum structure, integration and assessment. Much has been written and discussed in workshops and professional journals concerning the top-down process for assessing and/or revising a program curriculum. Institutions are finally realizing they cannot afford to rely solely upon the senior capstone design experience to be the integrator of all previous engineering experiences. Studies are beginning to show the positive effects of well-integrated curricula where assessment methods are applied consistently. What is missing in many instances is a credible link between top-down curriculum management and bottom-up course assessment. At the United States Military Academy at West Point, a widely accepted assessment model provides the framework for program management.

The Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at West Point has long prided itself on working hard to provide a rigorous and well-integrated undergraduate engineering program of study. Over the last five years we have developed and refined an integrating tool within the academy’s assessment model called a course assessment plan. The course assessment plan provides that crucial link between the program curriculum and the individual courses. The plan process and content will be the major focus of this paper. To illustrate the impact of the course assessment plan in closing the assessment loop, we will discuss an example of a course change with implications at the program level that was initiated and completed through use of the plan.

I. Introduction

While many institutions may not possess the unique mission and faculty composition of the United States Military Academy, we all share the same desire and requirement to improve our curriculum structure, integration and assessment as we move forward into the 21st Century. Accordingly, EC2000 Criteria for curricular objectives and content states the following1:

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Floersheim, R., & Ressler, S., & Bailey, M. (2001, June), Course Assessment Plan: A Tool For Integrated Curriculum Management Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9049

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