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Linking Student Learning Outcomes To Instructional Practices Phase Iii

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ERM Potpourri

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.900.1 - 10.900.11



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Paper Authors

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Stefani A. Bjorklund

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Norman Fortenberry

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

Linking Student Learning Outcomes to Instructional Practices – Phase III Stefani A. Bjorklund, Norman L. Fortenberry National Academy of Engineering, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education

Abstract – More than ever, today’s engineering colleges are concerned with and attuned to improving the processes and outcomes of educating tomorrow’s engineers. To that end, ABET’s “3a through k” criteria identified eleven learning outcomes expected of engineering graduates. Based on a rigorous review of the literature, the first phase of our work found four additional student outcomes desired by the engineering education community, and suggested that an engineering graduate also ought to demonstrate 1) ability to manage a project (including a familiarity with business, market-related, and financial matters), 2) a multidisciplinary systems perspective, 3) an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of students, faculty, staff, colleagues, and customers, and 4) a strong work ethic. During Phase II of this project, we identified several assessment instruments that might measure those outcomes and began searching for instructional “best practices” thought to promote the 15 desired learning outcomes. This paper, based on Phase III of the project, provides empirical evidence from and identifies the gaps in higher education and engineering education journal articles that link instructional best practices with the 15 desired student outcomes in engineering education.

I. Introduction

This work is Phase III of a continuing effort to identify a comprehensive summary of and the links between the student learning outcomes desired by engineering education stakeholders and the most effective teaching and learning strategies associated with those outcomes. In Phase I of this project we identified, through a thorough review of engineering education literature, an additional five learning outcomes not specifically included in ABET’s 3a though k criteria [1]. Although many more outcomes were mentioned in the literature, each of the five learning outcomes was cited at least 16 times, which was also the number of times the least cited ABET EAC criterion was referenced in the same body of literature [2]. As work on the project continued, we reconsidered a fifth additional learning outcome, “logical thought processes and critical thinking,” and concluded that it is, indeed, imbedded in ABET EAC criterion 3e. The final list of 15 student learning outcomes determined to be foundational for engineering graduates includes the 11 ABET 3a through k criteria and the four outcomes listed in Table 1.

In Phase II of this project, we reviewed 58 published resources to identify any valuable assessment tools used to measure the 15 student learning outcomes named in Phase I. In total, we found 65 assessment tools (listed in the Frontiers in Education paper associated with Phase II of this project [3]) that measured at least one of the 15 learning outcomes. Many of the assessment tools named in the paper are generic in nature (e.g., student presentations, alumni surveys, student portfolios), although some examples are of specific inventories or instruments (e.g., “Team Knowledge Test,” “Freshman Engineering Perception Test,” “Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity”). A clear result of the work done for Phase II indicates that no single assessment tool

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Bjorklund, S. A., & Fortenberry, N. (2005, June), Linking Student Learning Outcomes To Instructional Practices Phase Iii Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14424

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