Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eppes, Milanovic, and Sweitzer Present a Paper at Vancouver Conference

Tom Eppes, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Ivana Milanovic, associate professor of mechanical engineering, both in CETA, and H. Frederick Sweitzer, assistant provost and dean of faculty development, gave a paper, "Outcome Assessment of Liberal Education Skills," at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2011. The ASEE Annual Conference is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education, and it is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas and enhancing teaching methods and curriculum.
In response to mandates from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), our new academic mission, and a desire to integrate liberal arts and professional education, a University project was undertaken to identify core undergraduate learning outcomes, to be addressed and assessed within general education and each major. The authors describe the planning and actions undertaken thus far at both the University- and engineering-program levels to meet this new requirement.
Outcome assessment has been expanded to include five "intellectual and practical skills"; specifically, critical thinking, creative thinking, inquiry/analysis, problem solving, and information literacy. The authors presented a framework showing the best opportunities to measure student achievement levels within core courses. A recent pilot, employing the VALUE rubrics and targeting three of the five skills, was successful in identifying a method to observe and measure achievement.

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