A Process for Assessment of ABET Student Outcomes in a Mechanical Engineering Department

Published in: Proceedings of the 13th Latin American and Caribbean Conference for Engineering and Technology: Engineering Education Facing the Grand Challenges, What Are We Doing?
Date of Conference: July 29 - 31, 2015
Location of Conference: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Authors: Risa Robinson
Edward Hensel Jr.
Refereed Paper: #262


A formal three-point student outcomes assessment process has been implemented in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) department at Rochester Institute of Technology. The process was established in academic year 2012. The ME program defined high-level performance indicators associated with each of the eleven ABET student outcomes (a)-(k). Required ME courses were mapped to performance criteria by 1 of 4 instructional strategy levels, where 1 represents the lowest level of rigor and 4 represent the highest level of rigor. Achievement of student outcomes is carried out by summing student performance first across all courses contributing to a given PI, then by all PIs contributing to a given outcome. Performance is gauged against an achievement benchmark as well as a saturation benchmark, the latter is meant to indicate the potential need to increase rigor in a given area. The student outcomes assessment process involves not only evaluating student performance, but also evaluating the appropriateness of the program level instructional strategy to prepare students to meet the outcome and the data sources as an appropriate measure of outcome achievement.

Keywords: Assessment, Continuous Improvement