June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Electrical and Computer
22.1725.1 - 22.1725.8
“We’re All in the Same Boat” Promoting an Institutional Culture of AssessmentThe proposed paper is the ﬁrst in a series that will explore the application of principles oforganizational change theory and engineering design to the problem of achieving valid andsustainable assessment processes in a private university (Master’s comprehensive.)The institution that is the subject of this study [name of institution] offers a number of programsthat are accredited by different agencies. Other programs are accredited only in the context of theinstitution’s regional accreditation. Outcome-based assessment processes have been required bymany of the disciplinary accreditation agencies for many years, and the assessment processes inthose programs are often more mature than those in programs that are not separately accredited.The assessment leaders for the institution’s ABET-accredited programs have worked diligently toobtain assessment data from relevant courses in the engineering curricula, but are often unable toconvince instructors outside the engineering departments to provide such data. As a result, theevidence to support claims that students are achieving, for example, ABET’s Criterion 3(h) and3(j) is hard to come by, even though we know that the university’s liberal education coreaddresses those outcomes.[name of institution] is currently designing a new Core Curriculum that is based on studentlearning outcomes. Engineering and other externally accredited programs eagerly await the ﬂowof assessment information from the liberal education part of the core to satisfy accreditationcriteria. Because much of the core will be delivered by departments whose members are relativelynew, and in some cases resistant, to outcomes based assessment, it will be important for thosewithin the institution who have assessment expertise to partner with those who will be deliveringthe core to ensure that assessment is an integral and sustainable part of the core design andimplementation, and that the processes yield information that is useful for satisfying accreditationcriteria from different agencies, including ABET.This paper will explore existing approaches to this problem, and make recommendations based onthe literature in organizational change theory to achieve higher levels of “buy in” from thestakeholders. This will require a signiﬁcant cultural shift in the institution, as academics place ahigh value on autonomy in their teaching as well as in their scholarship, and thus some tend to seemandates for assessment as interference with academic freedom. Proposed next steps fordesigning core assessment that works will direct future work.
Yost, S. A., & Roberts-Kirchhoff, E., & Zarkowski, P. (2011, June), “We’re All in the Same Boat”: Promoting an Institutional Culture of Assessment Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17293
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