June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.977.1 - 11.977.10
Outcome Assessment and Accreditation
The ideas presented in this paper are designed to assist faculty in technical areas accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to develop an effective assessment program. This paper focuses on common means of assessment that can be used as essential elements for continuous improvement of curriculum to meet accreditation standards. Advantages and disadvantages of these methods are presented to allow readers to determine which methods are most appropriate for their situation. The authors also provide their own experiences with many of these assessment methods. The paper concludes with a summary and lessons learned.
Program assessment, quality assurance, and continuous improvement have become essential elements of the accreditation process. National higher education associations, such as The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, mandate ongoing evaluation and assessment as a “core component” of the institution.1 The Commission further noted the “need to create a culture of evidence2” based on quality improvement principles to drive institutional assessment.
Some institutions still struggle when it comes to meeting the assessment standards even after years of effort by regional and programmatic accrediting agencies to improve the assessment process3. Assessment measures should correspond as closely as possible to “real world” student experiences. Assessment plans should seek to answer the following: - Are our students learning what we think we are teaching? - How do we know our program is meeting its objectives for student learning? - What are the indicators that our program is effective? - Can we find areas for improvement in our degree program?4
There are numerous step-by-step or phase models of assessment that help address the questions that should be answered in this process. Two examples are illustrated. Sarapin5 recommends a five phase assessment program comprised of: (1) Review program goals and objectives, (2) Identify student outcomes, (3) Validate student outcomes, (4) Administer assessment instruments, and (5) Revise program, revise courses, revise assessment methods. Strong et al.6 developed an assessment model with the following steps: (1) Agree on the mission of the program, (2) Identify the program outcomes, (3) Articulate the outcomes and the curriculum, (4) Brainstorm, evaluate and select appropriate measures of student learning for each outcome, (5) Develop an assessment plan for collecting the data, (6) Collect and analyze data which documents student achievement of these outcomes, (7) Use data to improve curriculum and program processes to improve student learning, and (8) Communicate results of outcomes assessment process.
“Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2006, American Society for Engineering Education”
Boser, R., & Stier, K. (2006, June), Outcome Assessment And Accreditation Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--252
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