June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.881.1 - 12.881.14
Individual Course Assessment as a Core Assessment Tool
The mechanical engineering program conducts assessment activities largely based on the descriptions and timelines set up in the plan to foster excellence in engineering education. Some assessment activities, such as maintaining student portfolios, require an enormous amount of resources, expertise and time to fully implement and effectively utilize the assessment tools for evaluating students’ academic performances. Like almost all small engineering programs faced with the full compliance of the ABET 2000 Criteria, the program decided to select a few assessment tools that can be effectively used and managed by a limited number of faculty and other resources.
The Course Assessment is one of the core assessment tools that had been selected by the faculty eight years ago for specified courses and is now implemented in every mechanical engineering course. This tool is used to evaluate and improve students’ academic performances at the same time. The evidence of the assessment activities is documented and filed by the instructor and used for further improvement in following semesters.
This article documents the Course Assessment applied for a senior-level required course, MECH 4835 Thermal Fluid Applications, over a span of several years. A systematic and innovative course assessment has been conducted, which includes extra evaluations of students’ performances, assessment surveys and reviews, reinforcement of selected course materials, and final review of assessment, in addition to regular examinations, homework, and design projects. The assessment activities have been received favorably by students. They felt that the activities helped them gain knowledge effectively and improved their learning curves significantly.
In recent years, engineering programs have been striving to improve engineering education by adopting a well defined assessment program and strengthening their commitment to improving the processes and student learning outcomes. ABET adopted the new set of accreditation standards ten years ago. The standards (Engineering Criteria 2000) encompass 11 learning outcomes expected of engineering graduates. The ABET requires all engineering programs to demonstrate their students’ achievement and to develop an assessment program that ensures continuous improvement and successful accomplishment of the outcomes.
Although there are other desired outcomes1 that are added by some schools, accomplishing these learning outcomes are generally accepted by educators as a benchmark for successful assessment. Consequently, most engineering programs adopt an assessment program with a typical feedback loop process2, as shown in Figure 1. The skills and ability associated with these learning outcomes are essential for the success of engineering graduates. Providing students with
Kim, H. (2007, June), Individual Course Assessment As A Core Assessment Tool Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1933
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