June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.458.1 - 11.458.16
Development of a Design Phase Checklist for Outcome Based Active/Cooperative Learning Courses
Active/cooperative learning and outcome based assessment are among the new tools that engineering colleges ought to use in order to ensure the quality of their graduates in light of ABET EC2000 accreditation policy. In the present work a checklist was developed as a design assistance tool for satisfying the requirements of both active/cooperative learning and ABET EC2000. The checklist includes 66 YES/NO questions to address course goals, course outcomes, course learning objectives, students working teams, course assessment tools, and course evaluation. The questions also address the five pillars of cooperative learning, namely positive interdependence, individual accountability face to face interaction, social cooperative skills, and group processing.
Modern teaching techniques, such as active/ cooperative learning, hold great promise for increasing the effectiveness of engineering education1. As stated by Felder et al2, a large and rapidly growing body of research confirms the effectiveness of cooperative learning in higher education. Relative to students taught traditionally—i.e., with instructor-centered lectures, individual assignments, and competitive grading—cooperatively taught students tend to exhibit higher academic achievement, greater persistence through graduation, better high- level reasoning and critical thinking skills, deeper understanding of learned material, lower levels of anxiety and stress, more positive and supportive relationships with peers, more positive attitudes toward subject areas, and higher self-esteem.
On the other hand, and in a major shift influenced by pressures from industry and global competition, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) has introduced Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000)3, which addressed the effectiveness of engineering education programs by focusing on assessment and evaluation process that assures the achievement of educational objectives and outcomes. Since it was first introduced in 1996, these criteria have been the subject of extensive discussion. In the words of Jack Lohmann4 cited by Felder et al2, “Preparing for an ABET visit is no longer the academic equivalent of El Niño—something to be weathered every six years until things go back to normal.” Since the work of equipping students with the attributes specified in program outcomes must be done at the individual course level, all faculty members involved in teaching required courses must now understand and be involved in the accreditation process on a continuing basis, not just in the months preceding each visit.
The connection between active/ cooperative learning and EC2000 is strong. Active/ cooperative learning seems to be an efficient way to address the requirements of ABET EC2000. The careful design of an active/ cooperative learning course ensures that students will acquire technical as well as non-technical or soft skills specified in the famous eleven 3a- 3k outcomes. Felder et al2 discuss the instructional paradigms of cooperative learning and problem-based learning and estimates that each of them has the potential to address all eleven Criterion 3 outcomes effectively.
Al-Bahi, A. (2006, June), Development Of A Design Phase Checklist For Outcome Based Active/Cooperative Learning Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1083
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