Engineering Economics as a Benchmark Course in the Context of a Sustainable Continuous Improvement Process

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ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Page: 1-12

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Yamayee, Zia A.; Takallou, Mojtaba B.; Albright, Robert J.
Engineering Economics; Continuous Improvement Process; Engineering Education
conference paper description
Programs seeking ABET accreditation must demonstrate that they satisfy eight general accreditation criteria, plus any program specific criteria.The two most important and widely debated ABET accreditation criteria are Student Outcomes (SOs), and Continuous Improvement (CI).While ABET has always encouraged program improvement as part of the accreditation process, Continuous Improvement (CI) has emerged as the most important criterion for accreditation.The primary inputs to this criterion are the results of assessment and evaluation of SOs. And, course-embedded assessment plays a major role in the assessment of Student Outcomes.The outcomes of the CI process are the changes that improve an engineering program.Since 2006, we have been periodically reviewing our assessment and evaluation processes with a goal to reduce the amount of time faculty spend in gathering and analyzing data. The outcome of this effort is a more sustainable CI process; a process in which not all courses are involved in course-embedded assessment and not all student outcomes are assessed and evaluated every year.The choice of courses for course-embedded assessment is guided by two principles:(1) each Student Outcome is assessed with student work in a benchmark course, and (2) only required courses, not elective courses, in the curriculum are selected as benchmark courses.Assessment of a benchmark course is conducted with the following in mind:(1) assessment of student work measures the extent to which SOs are being attained, (2) it is not necessary to use all of the student work to assess an outcome, and (3) outcomes assessment is based upon student work and is guided by the grading of that work.The implementation of our course-embedded assessment method to a benchmark course, namely Engineering Economics, is presented in this paper. A description of the process, data collection efforts, and analysis of the results in applying course embedded assessment method to the benchmark course are presented in this article.