June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.585.1 - 15.585.10
Development of a Prototype, Nationally-Normed Assessment Exam for EET Programs
For many years, faculty and administrators of electrical/electronic engineering technology (EET) degree programs have voiced a need for a comprehensive, nationally-normed exam, available to all EET graduates, that would provide a valid assessment of the cumulative skills of students completing their programs. ABET's adoption of outcomes-based accreditation criteria, which emphasize assessment and continuous program improvement based on objective measurements, heightened the importance of such a exam. As a result, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Department Heads Association (ECETDHA) undertook a project beginning in 2007 to develop just such a test. Several key accomplishments were necessary for this project to be successful. Among these were (1) quantification of the true level of interest for such a test within the EET community and the level of financial support that could be generated from those interested, (2) recruitment of expertise in standardized exam development, (3) identification of key topics to be covered by testing, (4) recruitment of topic experts to develop and validate exam matter, (5) implementation of beta testing validation of the completed product, and last but not least, (6) acquisition of funding to support the development and exam validation effort.
As of August 2009, all of these tasks have been completed successfully for a 'core topics' EET exam, and the exam is now being readied for its first official offering to EET programs across the country. This paper and presentation will document the details of how these tasks were completed, the results of the beta test validation, and, if possible, the results of the first official offering should those results be available by the time of the ASEE conference.
Background For years there has been an ongoing discussion among members of the electrical and electronic engineering technology (EET) community about the need for better tools to assess the overall effectiveness of academic programs and the cumulative knowledge and skills of graduates from those programs. One oft-mentioned tool deemed useful for this purpose is some form of general overview exam, similar in concept to the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. In fact, some baccalaureate EET programs use the FE for this purpose. Unfortunately, the FE is not available to all EET programs, either because state registration policies prohibit its use or because many EET programs are 2-year associate degree programs. More important, most EET professionals feel the FE is not generally well-aligned with the content and objectives of EET programs, and thus not an effective evaluation tool even if available.
Discussions of this nature were a recurring, but unaddressed, topic in meetings of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECETDHA) until early 2006 when the group decided to undertake a project to address the need. That decision came about because of a serendipitous meeting between a member of the Association and several representatives of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). At that meeting, the SME, which has a long and successful history of developing and managing standardized certification exams, was describing
Land, R. (2010, June), First Use Of A Prototype Nationally Normed Assessment Exam For Eet Programs Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15740
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