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Relationship between ABET-TAC Criterion 3 A-K Student Learning Outcomes Achievement

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Assessing Student Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1234.1 - 22.1234.13



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Paper Authors


Byron G. Garry South Dakota State University

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Byron Garry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Management in the College of Engineering at South Dakota State University, and has been Coordinator of the Electronics Engineering Technology program since 2000.

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Relationship between direct measures of ABET-TAC student outcomes achievementand indirect measures of student’s learning gathered from student evaluation ofteaching surveys.AbstractAssessment and evaluation of student learning are important considerations forEngineering Technology programs. ABET-TAC standards require that educationalobjectives and outcomes be chosen by the program and its constituents, measured byvarious means, and that the results be used to improve the program. The data that iscollected should be cross-checked in some fashion for the results to be consideredvalid. A large part of our program’s data collection process is classified as directassessment, that is, using tests, papers, homework, and lab exercises that measure thestudent’s learning or achievement of (a) – (k) student outcomes. We collect data allthrough the curriculum, freshman through senior levels, usually for two to four studentoutcomes per course.In those same courses, the university requires a formal student evaluation of teachingsurvey at the end of the semester. Our university uses the nationally normed surveyfrom IDEA, based in Manhattan, Kansas, that includes asking the students to assesstheir own “progress on objectives” on up to 12 different objectives. The IDEA systemallows the class instructor to choose three or four of the 12 objectives that areemphasized in the class, on which IDEA concentrates its data collection and analysis.Our program constructed a correspondence table between our ABET-TAC (a) – (k)student outcomes and the IDEA objectives, and course instructors choose the IDEAobjectives that are the closest match to the student outcomes we are measuring in thatcourse. The results of the IDEA student surveys can be classified as an indirectmeasure, which can be used to check the validity of our own direct measurements.There is a wide variety of opinion in higher education research literature, on whetherstudent evaluation of teaching results in valid conclusions. This paper reviews theresearch on this contentious subject. We agree with the opinion accepted by many, thatby using a research-based choice of questions, and with proper analysis andadjustment for confounding factors, that student’s self-evaluation of their learning canbe considered valid. IDEA uses this approach when reporting results back to the courseinstructor.Our program has collected two year’s worth of data that includes our ABET-TACstudent outcomes assessment and the adjusted IDEA student progress on objectives,gathered from the same courses. A preliminary analysis shows there is a statisticallysignificant, small-value negative correlation between these two measures of studentlearning. This type of result has been reported by studies in other academic fields. Thefinal paper will report the complete analysis of the data collected. The paper will drawconclusions and make recommendations on how student evaluation of teaching couldbe included in ABET student outcomes data collection process. 

Garry, B. G. (2011, June), Relationship between ABET-TAC Criterion 3 A-K Student Learning Outcomes Achievement Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18481

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