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On the Implementation of ABET Feedback for Program Improvement

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

ABET Accreditation, Assessment, and Program Improvement in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

22.1119.1 - 22.1119.18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--18560

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18560

Download Count

117

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Paper Authors

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Stephen M. Phillips Arizona State University

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Stephen M. Phillips received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has served on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University from 1988 to 2002. He joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 2002 as Professor. In 2005 was appointed department chair and in 2009 he was appointed director of the newly formed School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

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Konstantinos Tsakalis Arizona State University

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Dr. Konstantinos Tsakalis is a Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Systems Engineering at Arizona State University since 1988. His work is in the theory and applications of control systems, adaptive control, system identification and optimization and he co-authored the book “Linear Time Varying Plants: Control and Adaptation,” published by Prentice Hall in 1993. Starting in 1995 and in collaboration with Semy Engineering, he developed an integrated identification and controller design procedure for the temperature control of diffusion furnaces, used in semiconductor manufacturing. This controller was awarded 5 US patents received the 1998 Editor’s Choice, Best Products Award from Semiconductor International. Dr. Tsakalis has also worked on the application of robust control theory, system identification and optimization principles in various industrial problems in collaboration with Honeywell and EPRI. His recent activities include power system and biomedical applications, and in particular, prediction and control of epileptic seizures. He is also actively pursuing the use of industrial research experience in the classroom, with support from several funded projects.

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Ravi Gorur Arizona State University

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Ravi Gorur joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1987 and he is presently professor and program chair of the electrical engineering undergraduate program. He has Bachelor's, Master's and Ph. D degrees in electrical engineering. His area of research is dielectric materials and systems for power delivery. He has authored or co-authored over 150 papers in journals and a textbook on "Outdoor Insulators". He teaches classes in the electric power and energy systems area. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the recipient of the 2011 Claude de Tourreil Memorial Award for "Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Electrical Insulators".

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Stephen M. Philips Arizona State University

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Stephen M. Phillips received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has served on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University from 1988 to 2002. He joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 2002. In 2005 was appointed department chair and in 2009 he was appointed director of the newly formed School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

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Abstract

On the implementation of ABET feedback for program improvement Kostas Tsakalis, Stephen Phillips, Ravi Gorur School of Electrical Computer and Energy Engineering Arizona State UniversityAbstractThe ABET accreditation process calls for feedback to be an integral part of continuousimprovement of education programs. Considerable freedom is allowed in the implementation ofthis process and how the data is collected, quantified, and interpreted. Combining this with thenaturally high variability of the education process, the lack of unified and accepted performancemetrics and outcome definitions, result in a formidable yet quite interesting feedback problem.In this study, we present the approach taken by the School of ECEE at Arizona State University toformalize, quantify, and automate to the greatest possible extent the data collection, action,and evaluation of the feedback and continuous improvement process. We follow the “two loopABET process” (an objectives loop and an outcomes loop) where the academic unit defines itsown program objectives that are regularly evaluated and possibly revised by the programconstituents: faculty, students, alumni, local community and industry. The evaluation of howwell the program objectives are met is accomplished through regular meetings and responses toquestionnaires. We quantify these responses with an adjustment of the target values of theprogram outcomes. Despite the fact that it is naturally abstract and vague, and some nontrivialeffort must be spent on the development of the questionnaires and their correspondence withthe program outcomes, the implementation of this loop is relatively straightforward.The second, and arguably more interesting part of the cycle is the periodic assessment of theprogram outcomes, and the implementation of actions and policies to affect the outcomes in adesired direction. We approach this by creating a sampling mechanism through standardizedtests and questionnaires (Rubrics) to quantify in a reliable manner the assessment and datacollection process. The data is then used to automatically compute quantitative actions(typically expressed in instruction effort) that are to be implemented during classroominstruction and aim to minimize the difference between assessed outcomes and targetoutcomes. The difficulties in this process lie in several distinct planes. One is the definition ofquantitative and precise metrics that reflect changes in the program. A second is the datacollection and the action definitions that should minimize or, at least, allow the resolution ofinterdependencies and correlations among them. While these form an intellectually interestingmodeling and feedback problem, one must also be prepared to accommodate some facultyresistance, indifference, or simply lack of time to perform such tasks. Viewing automation andconsistency as a key for the success of the continuous improvement process, we haveimplemented this feedback process for the last four years and here we present some of ourexperiences.

Phillips, S. M., & Tsakalis, K., & Gorur, R., & Philips, S. M. (2011, June), On the Implementation of ABET Feedback for Program Improvement Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18560

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