June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Electrical and Computer
15.1152.1 - 15.1152.14
Sustainable Assessment for Program Improvement and ABET Preparation
One of the fundamental challenges of program assessment is to develop a process that is sustainable and has the rigor to deliver the results required for continuous improvement. At the same time the process should on a steady basis be able to provide the data that is expected to be an integral component in the preparation of the ABET Self-Study when the time comes for requesting accreditation.
In this paper we describe such a process. The process consists of three components: 1. A fast feedback procedure to implement continuous improvement at the course level. This procedure includes a course improvement form completed by the course instructor that documents their positive and negative reflections, suggested actions for course improvement, and deviations from the institutional syllabus in their offering of the course. A mechanism for evaluating and implementing suggested improvements is detailed. 2. A program outcome assessment procedure that directly assesses specific program outcomes and implements curricular changes resulting from evaluation of the data. This procedure incorporates an outcome assessment form with assessment tools, rubrics, benchmarks, and suggested curricular actions. The application of the form to the outcome assessment procedure for creating, implementing, and evaluating curricular change is explained. 3. Ongoing documentation of the process is accomplished via an institutionally-mandated annual program audit. The audit is based on essential elements that are consistent with, and mirror the format of the ABET Self-Study. Details and reflections on this audit by two program directors are included.
Program outcomes are assessed directly and not inferred from course outcomes. Specific assignments are required in courses designated to provide the evidence in the form of student work that demonstrates the extent to which the program outcomes are met. The result of this process is to consistently gather data that is critical for the ABET Self-Study and provide ongoing curriculum continuous improvement at both the course and program levels. Key observations are that decision-making has become more formalized and subject to more rigorous, documented scrutiny. Faculty buy-in to the process has been very favorable because of the ease and clarity of the tasks to be done.
Introduction and Purpose
Undergraduate engineering programs are discovering the benefits and costs of continuous [1-10] improvement. Since the 2006-07 accreditation cycle ABET has required programs to implement a Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). The plan must demonstrate evidence of actions which improve the program based on the assessment and evaluation of a program’s objectives and outcomes. In the 2009-10 accreditation cycle the ABET Criteria for Accrediting
Kelnhofer, R., & Williams, S., & Petersen, O. (2010, June), Sustainable Assessment For Program Improvement And Abet Preparation Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15890
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