San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.755.1 - 25.755.47
Improving upon Best Practices: FCAR 2.0The Faculty Course Assessment Report (FCAR) presents a streamlined methodology that allowsinstructors to write assessment reports in a concise, standardized format conducive for use inboth course and student (program) outcomes assessment. The FCAR is a short (typically 1-2pages) form, completed by the instructor that taught the class. The FCAR is structured as asequence of standardized reporting categories that include what course modifications were made,the outcomes assessment information obtained, reflection on the part of the instructor, andsuggestions for curricular improvement. Through this approach, the instructor is guided througha systematic review of the course, with the additional benefit of clearly and succinctlydocumenting critical portions of the "closing the loop" process. At the center of this approach isthe concept of performance vectors, a 4-tuple vector that categorizes aggregate studentperformance (in terms of the number of students who performed at excellent, adequate, minimal,or unsatisfactory levels) on a directly measured assessment artifact. For each performancecriterion to be reported on, an entry is placed into the FCAR documenting the criterion, theoutcome being supported, the assignment(s) used for acquiring the data, the assessment tool usedfor evaluating the data, and the resultant performance vector. Additionally, as this assessmentinformation is processed by the instructor who is closest to the data, any observed difficulties orextenuating circumstances affecting performance can be readily documented as part of theFCAR. For the department chair and/or assessment coordinator, FCARs provide a valuableresource, as all assessment information regarding a particular course is included in one place in acommon format providing ease of use. This information can then be extracted and summarizedin a way that allows all courses that cover a given Student Outcome to be easily evaluated.For the past several years, presentations featuring the FCAR methodology have been given at theABET Symposium. Based partly on this dissemination stream, the use of this instrument hasspread far beyond its origins. As other institutions have adopted the instrument, they have mademodifications as well, and in turn reported at a variety of venues regarding how their version ofthe FCAR has played a highly useful role in streamlining their continuous quality improvementprocesses, yielding both qualitative and quantitative information, facilitating greater consistencyin the reporting and processing of that information, and keeping faculty actively engaged in anon-going assessment process. In brief, this paper will present a survey of the literature regardingthe use of FCARs, provide an in-depth description of the current implementation of thisinstrument in at least 5 departments at 3 universities, and present recommendations for a model“FCAR 2.0” document. The paper will include example copies of FCARs from variousinstitutions, details on their use, and faculty responses on the positive and negative aspects ofimplementing this approach to assessment.
Estell, J. K., & Yoder, J. S., & Morrison, B. B., & Mak, F. K. (2012, June), Improving Upon Best Practices: FCAR 2.0 Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21512
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