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Development Of An Outcomes Based Assessment Instrument For Use By The Supervisors Of Professional Practice Students

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Cooperative Education Addresses ABET

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.528.1 - 12.528.12



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Paper Authors


Robert Stwalley Purdue University

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Robert M. Stwalley III, Ph.D., P.E. is the Director of the Purdue University Office of Professional Practice. Dr. Stwalley has been involved in education for over twenty years at three different institutions of higher education. He is currently the President of the Lafayette School Corporation Board of Trustees. Dr. Stwalley maintains a private consulting practice where he specializes in renewable energy projects and property transfer issues. He is married to Dr. Carol S. Stwalley, and they have four children: Kathryn, Robert IV, Elizabeth, and Daniel.

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

Development of an Outcomes-Based Assessment Instrument For Use by Supervisors of Professional Practice Students Abstract

The Purdue University Office of Professional Practice has been evaluating the performance of Cooperative Education students in the work place since its inception, and the current supervisors’ evaluation instrument is on paper and has been in use at least since the present Director was himself a Purdue undergraduate engineering Co-Op student in the mid-1970’s. Although the present evaluation forms are a reasonable and decent attempt to collect data on performance outcomes, the available aggregate data is both incomplete in depth and spotty in coverage. Unfortunately within a decentralized system, much of the work involved in collecting and analyzing this information has traditionally fallen to the various academic units. This work may be neglected, is difficult to collect by the central office and correlate, and may be of such small sample size so as to prove irrelevant within the specific department. To solve these deficiencies and upgrade the overall level of assessment, the Office of Professional Practice is designing a new instrument that will utilize an electronic means for collection. The performance evaluations will directly address our success at meeting ABET 1,2 Criterion III requirements, The NAE Engineer of 2020 3 guidelines, and our Purdue vision for The Future Engineer 4. Although it will be the student’s responsibility to see that their supervisor completes the evaluation, we are specifically designing the process to be minimally intrusive to insure a high rate of completion. The Purdue evaluation process will utilize some of the techniques pioneered by Mickelson and Hanneman 5,6,7 at Iowa State University and Cedercreutz and Cates 8 at the University of Cincinnati. Student work term evaluation characteristics will be correlated with data collected separately from employers on the relative importance of specific work characteristics within their industry. Additionally, we will collect self-assessments of performance from the students. We anticipate that this information will be useful for learning assessment evaluations, accreditation issues, and curriculum development.


The Purdue University Office of Professional Practice is in a unique position to collect data applicable to the outcomes-based performance of our undergraduate students that is aligned with ABET 1,2 Criterion III a-k. Several other institutions with Co-Op and internship programs have utilized their students’ undergraduate work experiences to help evaluate their respective curriculums. The University of Cincinnati and Iowa State University are the acknowledged leaders in this type of assessment. The proposed process at Purdue will utilize the better features of each of these institutions’ systems and will adjust their procedures to meet our local needs and our faculty’s assessment desires. Additionally, the process will be designed to be general enough that it can potentially be used to assess the outcomes-based performance of undergraduate students within our service learning and summer research programs.

Stwalley, R. (2007, June), Development Of An Outcomes Based Assessment Instrument For Use By The Supervisors Of Professional Practice Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2605

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