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Evaluation Issues In The Renewal Of Engineering Education: Lessons From Nsf Funded Projects

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.579.1 - 9.579.13



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Paper Authors

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Yi Min Huang

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Michael Trevisan

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

Session 1793

Evaluation Issues in the Renewal of Engineering Education: Lessons from NSF-Funded Projects

Michael S. Trevisan

Washington State University


The field of engineering education is in the midst of reform. Support for these change efforts is available through competitive programs within the National Science Foundation (NSF). The requirement to evaluate funded projects, particularly for program improvement, is an expectation across agency programs, and critical for program development and attainment of program outcomes. Three NSF-funded engineering education projects are highlighted in this paper to illustrate the variety of reform-oriented projects supported by NSF as well as evaluation issues that challenge the success of these efforts. The projects include: (1) an engineering design curriculum development project that specified the design expectations for the first two years of engineering education, (2) a new master’s program in opto-electronics, and (3) an IGERT project in environmental engineering. Evaluation issues faced by these projects are both technical and non-technical in nature and are central to useful evaluation work. These issues are not only present in NSF-funded projects but also within engineering programs more generally and thus, the NSF-funded projects serve to showcase evaluation challenges as engineering education continues its drive for reform. Recommendations are offered for meeting these challenges and improving evaluation capabilities in engineering education programs.


The last decade in engineering education has seen considerable interest and work in the teaching and learning aspects of engineering education programs. Faculty across the country have engaged in systematic investigations of programs, revised curricula, piloted and instituted alternative teaching strategies, and developed educational competencies for the technical and professional practice components of engineering education programs1,2,3.

The focus on competencies has inevitably led to the need to develop and measure objectives, assess outcomes, and evaluate programs for improvement and accountability. Thus, assessment and evaluation have played an increasing role in support of the national drive to enhance the achievement and competence of graduates from engineering education programs.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Huang, Y. M., & Trevisan, M. (2004, June), Evaluation Issues In The Renewal Of Engineering Education: Lessons From Nsf Funded Projects Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12962

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