June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.464.1 - 12.464.8
Design Panel: A Tool for Assessment in Design Courses
Abstract - In this paper, we first present the fundamental framework of our ABET assessment plan for our program and explain how an assessment tool called Design Panel fits. The Design Panel tool is used to assess courses with substantial project components. Then, we explain the details of organizing and managing such a panel assessment. Next, the Design Panel assessment results and their relations with other ABET assessment data are discussed. Finally, we provide lessons learned and feedback from the Panel members to improve the “Design Panel” as an assessment tool.
Capstone design courses with substantial student projects are usually one or two semesters long. Assessment in such courses for the purpose of continuous program improvement and ABET accreditation is a challenge. At the School of Engineering and Computer Science, we have a mechanical engineering program with a manufacturing option. For the past two years, our program has been preparing for its first ABET accreditation visit. As part of this effort, we established a “Design Panel” to evaluate student design projects. The panel consists of faculty, industry representatives, alumni and graduate students.
The mechanical system design stem of our curriculum contains 6 required courses starting with a small-scale project in the freshmen-level “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering” course, continuing through the junior year with two courses and terminating with three senior-level courses. Two of the senior-level courses constitute the capstone sequence. The thermal stem of the curriculum contains one design course.
ABET criterion 3.c. requires demonstration of “an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints …” Furthermore, the mechanical engineering program criterion requires demonstration of “… the ability to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas including design and realization of such systems.” These criteria are met collectively by the activities in the seven design courses of our curriculum mentioned above. The literature suggests that each criteria should be assessed using at least three tools (triangulation). Furthermore, the assessment should be done using a combination of direct and indirect tools. In each course, faculty members assess student achievement of these criteria using direct measurements. Course surveys are administered as indirect measures. We developed the Design Panel as another indirect assessment tool. The Design Panel is a group of people gathered to assess design related courses. A group of people consists of local industry
Kim, D., & Gurocak, H. (2007, June), Design Panel: A Tool For Assessment In Design Courses Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1508
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