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The Use Of Faculty Course Assessment Reports In Bme: Lessons Learned In Three Years

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

BME Assessment and the VaNTH ERC

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1483.1 - 12.1483.8



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Mary Verstraete University of Akron

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The Use of Faculty Course Assessment Reports in BME: Lessons Learned Over Three Years Abstract

The assessment of program outcomes for ABET accreditation has become a challenge for engineering programs nationwide. It is especially difficult for biomedical engineering programs that rely heavily on core engineering courses offered in non-biomedical engineering departments. Thus, the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Akron has developed Course Objectives and Faculty Course Assessment Reports (FCARs) to support the assessment process using only courses taught in the Department. The first step of this process begins with the development of Course Objectives, or stated directly “Upon successful completion of this course, students will …”. These course objectives are then evaluated at the end of each semester using the FCARs which provide a format to track changes made to course, quantitative assessment of the course objectives, grade distributions, student feedback, instructor reflection and proposed changes for the next offering. The quantitative and qualitative details generated in the FCARs may then be mapped directly to the Program Outcomes (ABET Criterion 3). The department began using this process at the beginning of the 2004-2005 academic year and has developed course objectives and FCARs for all of the undergraduate courses taught by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, thus removing the dependency upon other engineering departments for assessment of their Program Outcomes.

The Development of Faculty Course Assessment Reports

The first step of this process begins with the development of Course Objectives and Course Outcomes. Course Objectives are general statements about the content of the course. Course Outcomes are statements relating to what the students should know at the end of the course, or stated directly “Upon successful completion of this course, students will …”. Course Outcomes should be developed with a metric, or metrics, in mind for measuring the level of success or failure, such as examination or homework questions, or project requirements. Course Objectives and Outcomes should then be included in the course syllabus distributed to each student on the first day of class (Figure 1).

At the completion of the course, each instructor completes an assessment report for each BME course they taught. The report includes the following sections; Heading, Catalog Description, Grade Distribution, Modifications Made to Course, Course Outcomes Assessment, Student Feedback, Reflection, Proposed Actions for Course Improvement. Other sections may be included as each instructor or the Department wishes. These extra sections may be used to assess the “soft” skills required by ABET such as written and oral communications, engineering ethics, etc. and should reflect your institution’s Program Outcomes and Objectives. The Course Outcomes Assessment is the main section of the report and should include a quantitative evaluation of each stated course outcome. These evaluations should include examples of how the outcome was taught and evaluated. Finally, the extent to which the class satisfied the outcome should be stated numerically (Figure 2).

Verstraete, M. (2007, June), The Use Of Faculty Course Assessment Reports In Bme: Lessons Learned In Three Years Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1677

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