This paper was presented at ASEE 2016 in New Orleans.

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doi: 10.18260/p.26641


This evidence based practice describes a process to evaluate a course within the spirit of ABET Criteria 4, continuous improvement. Faculty and staff are often asked to collaborate on the design and instruction of core engineering courses. Over time, these courses may evolve to accommodate new subject matter, pedagogical approaches, political and personal preferences, or other criteria as dictated by a dynamic group of stakeholders. Many changes originate from a clearly defined need or mandate, while others may sneak in without a full analysis of the course. Repeated and often subtle changes compound to have a significant impact on the course, creating a narrative reflecting the intents of the faculty and the concerns of the institution as course goals and methods are updated in each subsequent semester. This paper describes a process to employ engineering education research methods to describe the nature, development, implications, and motivation behind of course changes. We define a six step process focused on the use of artifact analysis to provide instructional teams with concrete historical data, allowing them to better understand the structure of their course and how it has changed over time. A case study examining a large-format, First Year Engineering course is included at a part of this paper, providing context and serving to describe the process in action. The case study includes methodological choices, analysis, and findings as a guide to practitioners seeking to follow or further develop our process for gathering data. The data produced can be used to inform future changes to the course design to ensure alignment of the course objectives, assessment, and pedagogy, while at the same time systematically meeting the requirements of ABET Criteria 4.


Engineering Education ABET Artifact Analysis

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