July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and on-going travel restrictions, all ABET accreditation reviews in the 2020-21 accreditation cycle were conducted remotely. Program Evaluator (PEV) and university administrator trainings were conducted virtually. Communications among the visit team members and between team members and the institution were conducted using email and video conferencing tools. In lieu of in-person tours, programs undergoing review prepared a variety of materials including videos and annotated photographs of laboratories, classrooms, and other university infrastructure. Course and assessment materials were made available electronically. Self-Study Reports, transcripts, Team Chair reports, and Program Evaluators’ reports were posted on the ABET Accreditation Management System (AMS) website or in another cloud storage platform. While some of these changes had already been underway, the pandemic accelerated them. Although ABET had conducted some partially virtual reviews in the past, the scale of the change was unprecedented, as was the time frame in which the transition was implemented. Prior virtual reviews had been dictated by safety concerns, and had generally included a small site visit team, so while some prior practices could be brought forward, some new protocols had to be developed. In the spirit of assessment and continuous improvement, the remote evaluation process is being examined closely from the perspective of Team Chairs (who also serve on the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC/ABET)), Program Evaluators (PEVs), and programs undergoing review in the 2020-21 accreditation cycle. Surveys will be administered to gather feedback on the effectiveness of: • ABET training for virtual visits • Videos and photographs in lieu of in-person visits of laboratories, classrooms, and other infrastructure • Electronic review of materials • Video conferencing for meetings with faculty, students, alumni and others • Team dynamics and addressing issues and questions • Level of effort required to prepare for and conduct a virtual visit compared to in-person visits • Electronic communication and file transfer tools (e.g., AMS, cloud storage platforms) Results of the surveys, the author(s)’ observations, and recommendations to improve future visits - whether in-person or remote - will be presented in the paper. Lessons learned will address suggestions for improvement for future virtual reviews, if necessary, and elements of virtual reviews that can be retained, and perhaps expanded, to enhance future in-person visits.
Saviz, C. M., & Morse, A. N., & Barry, B. E., & Kathir, N. M., & Delatte, N. (2021, July), Virtually Speaking: Perspectives on ABET Virtual Reviews Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/38029
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