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Development Of Assessment Instruments

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.194.1 - 4.194.7

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Paper Authors

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Jay Goldman

author page

David A. Conner

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

Session 1332


By David A. Conner1, Ph.D., P.E., and Jay Goldman2, D.Sc., P.E. University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)


Engineering programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), desiring to be evaluated under ABET’s new accreditation criteria in a Year 2000 visit, initiated planning three years prior to the visit. This paper (a) describes the process used to approach the EC2000 criteria and to develop assessment instruments, (b) outlines the process used in developing assessment instruments, (c) briefly describes the assessment instruments that were developed to assess the undergraduate electrical engineering program, and (d) presents an overview of the validation process used to test these assessment instruments. A web address is provided so that the reader can access the resulting work products.

The process of "designing" program assessment instruments requires the same skills needed for any major engineering design process to be successful. The process requires knowledgeable, articulate, aggressive leadership capable of moving the iterative process along in an (academic) environment that, by nature, tends to resist the making of decisions in a timely manner. The process, therefore, must be structured using a top-down approach that ensures (1) that required decisions are made early in the process, (2) that all viable alternatives are articulated and adequately assessed, and (3) that there is ample time for sufficient validation of all work products before they are deployed. In addition, extensive administration and faculty involvement is required at all steps in the design process to ensure involvement, "buy-in", and acceptance of the additional work load that will be generated for both administration and faculty once assessment instruments are deployed and feedback obtained. These steps are essential if continuing, quality enhancement of academic programs are to result from the process.


Realizing that a choice would be available for an ABET visit in Year 2000 with respect to the current accreditation criteria or new accreditation criteria, the Engineering Faculty and administration of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) considered the pros and cons of each set of criteria during the Fall of 1997. The clear choice was to "bite the bullet" and use the EC2000 criteria since following ABET visits would require a commitment to this set of criteria. This decision was followed by the Dean appointing the previous Dean as ABET 2000 Coordinator and asking Department Chairs to select a faculty member to serve as an Undergraduate Program ABET Coordinator. The College-wide Coordinator researched the new

1 Dr. Conner is serving as the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Program Coordinator for the Year 2000 ABET visit. 2 Dr. Goldman, former Dean of Engineering is serving as the College of Engineering ABET 2000 Coordinator for the Year 2000 ABET visit.

Goldman, J., & Conner, D. A. (1999, June), Development Of Assessment Instruments Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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