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Short Term Course Assessment, Improvement, And Verification Feedback Loop

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.874.1 - 6.874.12

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Paper Authors

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Teodora Shuman

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Greg Mason

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

Session 1566

Short-Term Course Assessment, Improvement, and Verification Feedback Loop

Teodora Rutar and Greg Mason Seattle University


An assessment-improvement feedback process is presented for improving the students’ classroom learning experience. The new process uses multiple short surveys during the term to identify strengths and weaknesses in a course curriculum and in an instructors teaching style. The surveys questions used in the process are derived directly from course educational objectives. The advantage of the new process is that it reduces the assessment-improvement- verification turn around time; addresses the problem of varying class dynamics; and thoroughly identifies class problems. The paper also presents and discusses the results of applying this new process to three freshman engineering classes.

I. Introduction

Effective assessment of student learning in an engineering classroom, and the implementation of an assessment-improvement feedback loop are integral parts of the ABET accreditation process, (see 2001-2002 Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs1). Unfortunately, in an engineering environment, the assessment-improvement feedback loop is primarily applied to student knowledge through traditional or innovative testing, followed by curricular improvement. It is our view that the effectiveness of a course is governed by more than just student knowledge. Successful courses excite and interest students, provoking critical thinking. They instill students with a level of confidence about their new abilities, and consequently motivate students to study. The student learning experience, however, is often under emphasized in the assessment process.

Traditionally, assessments taken to measure the students learning experience are done only once at the end of each term, often using some standardized institutional survey. This approach has several major shortcomings. First, it leads to long turn-around times in the assessment- improvement feedback loop. Assessment, improvement, and then verification that changes made to improve the learning experience were indeed effective, can take up to two years for classes taught annually. Second, end of term assessment results are specific to the group of students participating in the assessment. Since the learning experience can be very subjective, and class dynamics vary from term to term, course changes to improve the learning experience which were based on an assessment taken at the end of a course may not be beneficial to students in future

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Shuman, T., & Mason, G. (2001, June), Short Term Course Assessment, Improvement, And Verification Feedback Loop Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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