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Evaluating ABET Student Outcome (5) in a Multidisciplinary Capstone Project Sequence

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Capstone Pedgagogy

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Nicholas A Baine P.E. Grand Valley State University

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Nicholas Baine, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at Grand Valley State University. His expertise is in the design of electrical control systems and sensor data fusion. As an instructor, he specializes in teaching freshman courses as well as control systems and design of digital and embedded systems. While at Wright State University, he was part of the group that developed a new model to teach mathematics to engineering students. As a faculty member at Grand Valley State University, he is working to develop and improve the freshman design courses.

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Karl Brakora Grand Valley State University

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Karl Brakora is an assistant professor at Grand Valley State University and an engineer for BT Engineering. He has worked on conformal vapor-phase deposited EMI/HPM shields for circuit board, lightweight composite aircraft enclosures for HEMP/HPM, and non-GPS positioning systems and techniques. Previously, he was lead RF engineer for EMAG Technologies Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2007 to 2014. There he worked to develop innovative technologies in the area of compact, low-cost phase arrays, high-speed signal acquisition and processing for radar command-guidance of supersonic and hypersonic munitions, and advanced PCB packaging techniques. Previously, he was a graduate student with the Radiation Laboratory of the University of Michigan where his research focus was on ceramic prototyping techniques, integrated ceramic microwave systems, and applications of metamaterials and photonic crystals. He has authored four papers for refereed journals and given many conference presentations on the applications of advanced ceramic fabrication techniques to microwave devices. Dr. Brakora holds 5 US patents and has several unpublished patents and patent applications.

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Christopher P. Pung P.E. Grand Valley State University

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Dr. Pung has interests in experiential learning, design processes and student teams.

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This complete evidence-based paper presents a method for evaluating ABET student outcome (5) in a multidisciplinary capstone course. ABET has published a revised list of student outcomes detailed under ABET General Criterion 3, which replaces outcomes (a) through (k) with outcomes (1) through (7). The revised student outcomes place greater emphasis on measuring students’ ability to consider a wide range of factors in engineering situations and to address problems in multidisciplinary teams. The wide scope of outcome (5) presents unique challenges. This paper describes an assessment method for ABET student outcome (5), which assesses “…an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.” This assessment is performed by measuring each of the components of outcome (5): leadership, collaboration, inclusion, goal setting, task management, and an ability to meet objectives.

ABET requires that each program to be assessed independently without data from students of different majors, even if taking the same course. The capstone project sequence at XXX University is well-suited to assess students’ ability to work in a team; however, the capstone class consists of multidisciplinary teams drawn from multiple engineering programs, making disaggregation of data difficult.

The methodology presented in this paper utilizes multiple data sources to achieve a robust measurement that will be stable from year to year. The data collected includes a self/peer assessment performed by students and an assessment by the teams’ faculty advisors. The goal of these assessment tools is to capture data on the performance of the individual and the team as a whole. This paper presents methods of collecting data for assessment of outcome (5) along with methods for analyzing that data. Data from the 2019 capstone sequence at XXX University is used to demonstrate these methods. The end result is a clear, stable and independent metric that can be used to assess outcome (5) for each program major in a multidisciplinary capstone project.

Baine, N. A., & Brakora, K., & Pung, C. P. (2020, June), Evaluating ABET Student Outcome (5) in a Multidisciplinary Capstone Project Sequence Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34594

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