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Sustainability Of An Outcome Based Assessment Process: Analysis Of The Resource Impact

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1047.1 - 7.1047.8



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Marie Dahleh

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Sustainability of an Outcome Based Assessment Process: Analysis of the Resource Impact

Marie Dillon Dahleh Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 93106


All ABET accredited programs are developing assessment plans, which are used to determine if a program is successfully achieving the program outcomes. These outcomes must include but are not limited to Criterion 3 (a)-(k) of EC 2000. The assessment plans must balance the desire to measure all of the outcomes all of the time and the limited resources available. Most programs plan to mange and maintain this process internally with no new resources allocated. The two major limiting resources are faculty and staff time. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the time required by the faculty and staff to sustain the assessment process for the outcomes and objectives of the Mechanical Engineering department at UCSB. The analysis can be adapted to any assessment plan that relies heavily on surveys.

The Mechanical Engineering (ME) program at UCSB has developed an assessment process to evaluate the program objectives and outcomes. Objectives are attributes, which the students should demonstrate within five years of graduation. The ME program has four objectives. The outcomes are skills, which the students should possess at the time of graduation. There are eight outcomes that include all of the required outcomes as specified in Criterion 3 (a) -(k) of EC 2000.

Both objectives and outcomes need to be assessed on a continuous basis. The department has chosen three main methods for assessment. The first method checks which outcomes are met in individual courses. The second method is surveys. These are given to different constituents at various times. The third is focus groups. One is held with the department Industrial Advisor Board ( IAB) and the other is conducted with the current students.

This paper summarizes the assessment process for the ME program at UCSB a nd describes the impact on both faculty and staff time. The assessment instruments will be briefly described. Followed by a discussion of the work involved in administering and interpreting this instrument. The primary focus of this paper is to determine the sustainability of this assessment process.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Dahleh, M. (2002, June), Sustainability Of An Outcome Based Assessment Process: Analysis Of The Resource Impact Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10343

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