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Virtually Speaking: Perspectives on ABET Virtual Reviews

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Educational and Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession and ASCE

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

24

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/38029

Download Count

4

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Paper Authors

biography

Camilla M. Saviz P.E. University of the Pacific

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Camilla Saviz is Professor and Chair of Civil Engineering at the University of the Pacific. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis. She joined Pacific in 1999 and is a registered Professional Engineer in California.

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Audra N. Morse Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is a Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems. However, she has a passion to tackle diversity and inclusion issues for students and faculty in institutions of higher education.

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Brock E. Barry P.E. United States Military Academy

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Dr. Brock E. Barry, P.E. is the Director of the Civil Engineering Division and Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a PhD from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Dr. Barry spent 10-years as a senior geotechnical engineer and project manager on projects throughout the United States. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Dr. Barry’s areas of research include assessment of professional ethics, teaching and learning in engineering education, nonverbal communication in the classroom, and learning through historical engineering accomplishments. He has authored and co-authored a significant number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics. Dr. Barry is the 2020 recipient of ASEE's National Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Nathan M. Kathir P.E. George Mason University

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Dr. Nathan M. Kathir, P.E., F.ASCE is a civil/structural engineer with over 35 years of experience in government and private industry. He earned his Ph.D. in civil/structural engineering from Texas A&M University and is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the State of Colorado. After leaving the federal government with more than 30 years of civilian service, he is currently an associate professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, George Mason University (Mason) in Fairfax, VA. Dr. Kathir’s primary duties are directing the capstone program and teaching the senior design course. His areas of expertise include Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), vulnerability assessments, probabilistic risk evaluation and risk management, security engineering, blast modelling and mitigation of effects, facilities engineering, and facilities management. Dr. Kathir is a member of ASCE’s Committee on Accreditation. He has been a program evaluator for ABET since 2000 and currently serves as a commissioner on ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission.

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Norb Delatte P.E. Oklahoma State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1811-4335

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Dr. Norbert J. Delatte, Jr., P.E., is Professor and Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Beyond Failure: Forensic Case Studies for Civil Engineers (ASCE Press, 2009). In addition, he is the Editor of ASCE’s Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice. Dr. Delatte is a registered professional engineer in the States of Oklahoma, Ohio, and Alabama and in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Abstract

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015