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Outcomes Assessment In An Energy Systems Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

New Ideas in Energy Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.977.1 - 9.977.13



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Paper Authors

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Mark Schumack

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

Session 2533

Outcomes Assessment in an Energy Systems Course

Mark Schumack Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Detroit Mercy

I. Introduction

Student performance has been traditionally measured through homework assignments, projects, and examinations, with final course grades based on weighted averages of scores in each of these measurement categories. Driven by the EC 2000 criteria, many instructors have revised their course syllabi to list course outcomes and associated linkages to program outcomes. The linkage by itself, however, is insufficient unless suitable evidence is shown that the outcomes have been assessed individually. Course grades provide ambiguous evidence as to how well course outcomes, and consequently program outcomes, have been met. Indeed, ABET documents strongly suggest that course grades are not appropriate assessment indicators for program outcomes1. A rigorous course assessment process that isolates student performance for each course outcome will provide clear evidence that course outcomes, and by extension associated program outcomes, are being met.

The development and assessment of course outcomes is instrumental for achieving program educational outcomes. Felder and Brent2 provide an excellent resource for designing and teaching courses to satisfy program outcomes. In addition to providing sample course outcomes and instructional methods for addressing EC 2000 criterion 3 outcomes (a) through (k), they provide helpful examples of matrices linking course and program outcomes. Soundarajan3 describes an assessment process in computer and information science at Ohio State University that relies on a mechanism called the Course Group Report. The curriculum is divided into groups of related courses. Faculty members responsible for those courses produce a report every two years that addresses, among other issues, how effectively the group of courses is contributing to the relevant program outcomes. Pape and Eddy4 describe an assessment methodology in which course assignments and exam problems are linked individually to course outcomes, and subsequently how performance in outcomes is related student grades.

Outcomes assessment in a senior-level energy systems course is described. This course is a senior-level technical elective for mechanical engineering students, and covers topics such as thermodynamic cycles, pump design and piping system analysis, availability analysis, and fuel cells. The assessment process in the College of Engineering & Science at UDM is summarized, with special attention paid to how courses are used to support program outcomes. The course content and structure are briefly covered, and then the course outcomes assessment process is detailed. Assessment was performed using homework assignments, inclass exercises, written

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Schumack, M. (2004, June), Outcomes Assessment In An Energy Systems Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13859

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