Developing Course Assessment Tool to Measure the Degree of
Achieving Course Learning Outcomes
Mohammad Alhassan, Suleiman Ashur
The civil engineering program at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), established in the fall of 2006, is the most recent addition to the Department of Engineering, which offers B.S. degrees in civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. A key component for a successful program is to establish and implement an effective assessment process to measure the degree of achieving program outcomes, identifying weaknesses, and recommending improvements. In December 2008, the Civil Engineering Assessment Plan (CEAP) was developed based on the department’s existing “one-assessment-plan-fits-all” format that was developed for all programs in 2004. Currently, there is a need to depart from this approach and modify the current plan to take into consideration the individual needs of each program. A major deficiency in the current plan is the process of evaluating course outcomes, which lacks consistency and documentation.
The goal of this paper is to present a new tool developed to improve the assessment and address ABET criteria for developing an assessment-based improvement system capable of establishing consistency in the assessment process, create a better documentation process, and measure the effectiveness of educational and learning of engineering students. A new faculty assessment form developed to document assessment data and provide an analysis of assessment results for course outcomes is also presented. The faculty members acknowledged the effectiveness and ease of use of the new tool that helped in improving assessment at the department level and supported ABET accreditation of the new civil engineering program.