June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1254.1 - 11.1254.7
The Assessment Workshop: A Tool for Promoting Faculty Involvement
Continuous improvement and outcomes-based assessment have now been included in accreditation requirements for all ABET engineering and engineering technology programs. One of the biggest challenges in implementing the new requirements at many institutions has been involving all faculty members in the process. At Milwaukee School of Engineering, a year-end Assessment Workshop was created with the goal of increasing faculty involvement in assessment of program objectives and outcomes. The format and results of the workshop are discussed in this paper.
The TC2K requirements of the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of ABET place high importance on the continuous improvement process. Preparing and implementing a continuous improvement plan, selecting assessment methods, and preparing for ABET visits have been the subjects of numerous papers, articles, and workshops over the last few years. Several common threads are apparent when reviewing the literature: the need to select assessment tools that are efficient to implement, the importance of interpreting the assessment data that is collected, and the benefits of involving all faculty members in the assessment process.
Outcomes-based ABET accreditation requirements have their roots in a series of Accreditation Reform Workshops that were sponsored by ABET in 1994. In September 2002, the leaders of the workshops gathered to discuss the progress toward implementation of the new requirements. Their findings were summarized in a report titled “Sustaining the Change: A Follow-Up Report to the Vision for Change.”1 Among the concerns noted were: A focus by institutions on producing a quantity of assessment data, creating a heavy workload and contributing to the impression that accreditation is an “onerous task.” Sustainability of assessment efforts. Confusion over processes that not only contribute to continuous improvement, but also ensure that minimum standards are met.
These concerns, among others, were found in a survey by Mayes and Bennett2 of 27 institutions with ABET-accredited programs (although these were engineering institutions, the similarity of accreditation requirements between engineering and engineering technology make their results of interest to both communities). In terms of faculty involvement, the most-often mentioned method of ensuring faculty involvement was leadership from the top. That is, top-down leadership and support were seen as critical in faculty involvement. Other methods included engaging faculty at faculty meetings, faculty retreats, and training sessions and workshops.
Assessment methods for demonstrating achievement of outcomes most mentioned by the surveyed institutions were examples of student work (at selected points during the students’ careers), embedded course-based measures (such as standard exam questions or lab reports),
Howard, W., & Musto, J. (2006, June), The Assessment Workshop: A Tool For Promoting Faculty Involvement Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/135
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