Impact Evaluations of Engineering Programs Using ABET Student Outcomes
Engineering programs worldwide collect and report student learning outcomes data to conduct program evaluations for quality assurance and accreditation purposes. Accreditation agencies such as ABET typically mandate that at least two years of program evaluation data be provided and for institutions to show how this data has been used for continuous quality improvement. Engineering programs rarely evaluate interventions using multi-term student outcomes information over several years, since this quantitative data generally lacks accuracy and statistical power. The quality of outcomes data is affected by obsolete assessment methods and lack of digital access and technical analysis. In this study, we present essential elements of an authentic outcome based assessment model that used web-based software and embedded assessment technology to collect and report accurate cohort outcomes for credible multi-term evaluations. A non-experimental approach employing regression analyses were used to identify trends in student outcomes and evaluate the impact for three engineering programs. Detailed rubrics provide criteria to accurately classify multi-year student outcomes. The findings of this study present practical steps for engineering programs to effectively collect and report accurate cohort outcomes data and perform credible evaluations of program interventions based on multi-year outcomes data.