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Incorporating The Design And Use Of Surveys With Other Engineering Assessment Methods Under Criteria 2000 Guidelines

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.308.1 - 4.308.22

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Paper Authors

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Robert A. Johnson

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J. Shawn Addington

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

Session 1332

Incorporating the Design and Use of Surveys with Other Engineering Assessment Methods under Criteria 2000 Guidelines

J. Shawn Addington, Robert A. Johnson Department of Electrical Engineering Virginia Military Institute


Student surveys, including course evaluations, exit surveys, and alumni surveys, continue to provide a valuable means of evaluating engineering curricula. Under the new ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 assessment guidelines, each engineering program must demonstrate achievement in a number of “program outcomes”, determined by both the accreditation board (Criteria 3 and 8), as well as the institution. Each engineering program must therefore establish an effective assessment mechanism that directly addresses these desired program outcomes. In addition to providing a technique to measure achievement in the program outcomes, this assessment mechanism must also incorporate its results in a continuous feedback cycle, designed to improve program effectiveness. Student surveys play an important role in this feedback process. For maximum correlation to other assessment processes, these surveys must directly address student perception of individual opportunities and achievement in each of the desired program outcomes. This requires that the students be informed of how these program outcomes are incorporated into their graded assignments in each course. This paper discusses the design of student surveys (course evaluations, exit surveys, and alumni surveys) to interface directly with a novel program assessment mechanism. This mechanism consists of an assignment database with individual assignment records contributed by the faculty for each course. The assignment database contains faculty estimates of assessment data regarding which program outcomes are addressed and the extent to which they are addressed by each assignment. Further, each database record includes student performance data for the assignment. Independently, neither the assignment database nor the survey data provide a complete self-validating source of assessment data for the program. However, when utilized together these two sources of assessment data can be used to support inferences and conclusions, provide mutual validation, and help resolve conflicting inferences from the two data sources in providing guidance for feedback to the curricula. Specifically, students’ perception of their performance regarding a specific program outcome as shown in the survey results may not be an accurate reflection of their actual performance as shown in the database records. Likewise, faculty perceptions and intentions regarding the quantity and quality of opportunities afforded to the students to engage in activities related to acquiring the skills associated with the programs outcomes must be apparent to the students in order to achieve the desired results of the program. Thus, with proper survey design and implementation, the survey results and database records will complement each other. Feedback from each of these two assessment processes will therefore allow the faculty to more efficiently revise course presentation and/or assignment content, in order to provide the

Johnson, R. A., & Addington, J. S. (1999, June), Incorporating The Design And Use Of Surveys With Other Engineering Assessment Methods Under Criteria 2000 Guidelines Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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