Asee peer logo

Getting From Anecdotal To Measured Outcomes Assessment For Out Of Class Experiences

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Assessment Issues I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.640.1 - 9.640.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Jones

author page

Beth Tieszen

author page

Dennis Schulte

author page

Ann Koopmann

Download Paper |

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

“Getting from Anecdotal to Measured Outcomes Assessment for Out of Class Experiences”

Dennis Schulte, David Jones, Ann Koopmann, Beth Tieszen

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Engineering & Technology

Abstract It has been said that internships, co-ops, involvement in student organizations, and international experiences add value to engineering students’ education. Industry representatives send a clear message that grade point average is not the only thing considered when making hiring decisions. Can the value of such activities on the educational experience be measured? The Biological Systems Engineering Department and the Student Programs staff in the College of Engineering & Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are developing methods to get from anecdotal information to tangible, measurable outcomes. The process is being guided by: i) ABET program outcomes (A-K)1; ii) the need for “quantitative” information; iii) ease of access to students in time and place; iv) a goal of having an effective and efficient process for obtaining and interpreting results and; v) the desire to measure outcomes longitudinally.

To accomplish this task, several surveys have been developed for completion by students through various stages of their engineering education. The surveys focus: a) “work”-related experiences; b) international experiences; c) academic advising; d) involvement in student organizations; and e) post-graduate placement. The goal is to get the right survey to the right student, at the right time. This paper discusses the process for developing the surveys, the means in which the data is collected, and preliminary results from over 400 students who took the “work”-related and international surveys in the fall of 2003.

Introduction Faculty generally acknowledge that extra- and co-curricular activities are valuable to the overall learning and education of engineering students. Prior to ABET 2000, the nature and contributions of these activities were rarely, if ever, assessed. At best, anecdotal information was collected and analyzed in an ad hoc manner. Rarely was an effort made to formalize the collection and interpretation of such information. The implementation of ABET 2000 has caused engineering programs to rethink how academic performance is measured 2. Trends in outcomes assessment point to the day when anecdotal information will no be longer satisfactory.

The strategy for outcomes assessment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) involves collection of a variety of information with which to discern performance of students. It is assumed that any one piece of information is incomplete or inconclusive, and does not reveal the full extent of achievement. Further, it is assumed that combining information collected from

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

Jones, D., & Tieszen, B., & Schulte, D., & Koopmann, A. (2004, June), Getting From Anecdotal To Measured Outcomes Assessment For Out Of Class Experiences Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14122

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015