June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1130.1 - 26.1130.10
Mapping Outcomes in an Undergraduate Aerospace Engineering ProgramStudent learning outcomes are well known to be an important component of developing subjectcontent, communicating expectations to students, and designing effective assessments. Thisproject focuses on mapping the relationships among outcomes across an entire undergraduateaerospace engineering program. In many domains, outcomes are presented simply as lists ofcapabilities students should gain by the end of a learning activity. This project expands upon thestandard presentation by placing all outcomes from the undergraduate program in aninterconnected contextual map. To bring further structure to the map, we group outcomes withinmodules, where we define a module as a learning unit comprised of a set of outcomes.This new outcomes framework provides a structured process for reevaluation and assessment ofa curriculum, specifically with regard to intra and inter-connectedness of subjects. Severalspecific motivations drove this project: first, to inspire discussion among faculty about thecurrent and ideal shape of the undergraduate curriculum and potential gaps or overlap amongclasses; second, to highlight modularity inherent in the curriculum; third, to provide aneducational roadmap to students so that they are able to view their progress through the programand self-assess as necessary; and fourth, to provide a framework for dynamic, integratedassessment within subjects.As a part of this project, faculty revised and expanded upon existing outcomes or generated newoutcomes. In addition, faculty identified the relationships among outcomes using prerequisitestructures and they grouped outcomes in modules. This led to a set of over 700 outcomes forsubjects taught within the Aerospace department, over 150 outcomes for pre-requisitemathematics and physics subjects taught outside the department, and almost 1000 prerequisitelinks between outcomes. These outcomes and links, along with their associated subjects andmodules, have been entered into a database for which a custom visualization has been developed.The figure on the following page shows connections among outcomes across subjects taughtwithin the aerospace engineering department (showing all subjects that contribute to meetingdepartmental undergraduate degree requirements).One specific example of how these outcome networks have been utilized is within ajunior/senior-level computational methods subject that utilizes a blended learning model. Theoutcomes map provides an explicit structure that integrates pre-class online readings with in-class active learning activities. Each section of the online readings and the associated embeddedassessments are tagged explicitly with the specific outcomes to which they relate. The onlineplatform also provides an integrated linkage of all outcomes across the subject, permittingstudents to navigate through the online resources to find other lessons and assessment activitiesthat relate to each outcome.The final paper will present the process used to collect and organize the outcomes mapping, thedevelopment of the database and visualization tool, conclusions drawn from assessment datacollected via student feedback, and specific case studies that demonstrate the utilization of themapping.Figure 1: Interconnections between outcomes in subjects across the curriculumNote: Subject names have been removed from this figure to avoid identifying the institution. Thefinal version will include these subject names.
Seering, J., & Willcox, K., & Huang, L. (2015, June), Mapping Outcomes in an Undergraduate Aerospace Engineering Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24467
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