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Using Engineering Competency Feedback To Assess Agricultural Engineering Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Assessment Strategies in BAE

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1247.1 - 8.1247.16



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Paper Authors

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Thomas J. Brumm

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Larry F. Hanneman

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Brian Steward

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Steven Mickelson

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

Session 852 Using Engineering Competency Feedback to Assess Agricultural Engineering Curriculum

S.K. Mickelson, T.J. Brumm, L.F. Hanneman, and B. L. Steward Iowa State University


In order to adequately address ABET Outcomes, Iowa State University’s (ISU) College of Engineering (COE) is using a competency-based assessment program that provides semester-to- semester feedback from students and employers engaged in cooperative education. The ISU Engineering Career Services (ECS) office collects these data for the fall, spring, and summer school terms. The average data by department is available for use by departmental committees to assess students’ competency levels and program outcomes. The Agricultural Engineering (AE) program at ISU is using this data, along with cooperative education student focus group feedback, to assess our curriculum. This process is ongoing and is very valuable in meeting ABET expectations for continuous improvement based on constituent feedback. This paper will describe the competency-based assessment program in the COE at ISU, present the data provided by the ECS office and the AE student focus groups, and show how this feedback is being used in our continuous improvement initiative.


The College of Engineering (COE) at Iowa State University (ISU) has undertaken a new initiative to help address the ABET 2000 Outcomes. In order to accomplish this, it has partnered with Developmental Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) 1 to develop an online assessment tool for quantifying engineering competencies in the workplace for students taking experiential education courses within each engineering department. With the help of our constituents, the COE and DDI developed and validated a matrix that has linked fourteen-workplace competencies to each of the a-k outcomes.2,3 Using an online assessment tool, co-op/intern students assess these competencies at the end of each co-op/intern work period. The supervisors also assess the students on these same competencies. The average results for the students and supervisors, in each engineering department, are made available to the department curriculum committees after each work period for evaluation. The Agricultural Engineering Curriculum Committee at ISU has used this feedback to develop curriculum plans and changes. Feedback from co-op/intern student focus groups has been used to clarify the competency data received from the Engineering Career Services office. This feedback, along with other sources of feedback, has been very helpful to the curriculum committee in assessing our current program.

Mentkowski et al. (2000)4 addresses this type of initiative for a curriculum group. “ For curriculum designers – any faculty or staff group who designs learning for students – the essential question is, “What elements of a curriculum could make a difference in our own “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Brumm, T. J., & Hanneman, L. F., & Steward, B., & Mickelson, S. (2003, June), Using Engineering Competency Feedback To Assess Agricultural Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12603

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