Paper Science and Engineering


The Paper Science and Engineering Student Outcomes consist of the eleven outcomes stated in ABET Criterion 3 (a-k) and one outcome for the science and technology used in the paper industry (outcome l) for a total of twelve Student Outcomes​. The diagram below illustrates the annual cycle for summative assessment of these outcomes. All twelve Student Outcomes are assessed for every graduating senior every year. This is possible only because of the small number of seniors; growth in the number of graduates from the program will necessitate a change in the assessment plan. A step-by-step explanation of the process appears below the diagram.

1.       Each year, a faculty meeting is dedicated to the discussion of Student Outcomes, including the utility of the rubrics associated with those outcomes. In addition, the assessment process itself is reviewed for its ability to provide actionable information and for sustainability.

2.       The senior design course sequence (PSEN 484/486) bears the responsibility for collection of the evidence of student learning. In this course, several key assignments are given.

a.       The Outcomes Portfolio (described more fully in the self-study) requires each student to select examples of their work that represent their best efforts for each of the twelve Student Outcomes. Students are required to write a brief reflection on the example that they chose, indicating why they think it is a good example. Faculty members evaluate these portfolios using the rubrics for the program’s Student Outcomes.

b.      Engineering ethics case studies are presented and discussed in class. This class activity is followed by a writing assignment requiring the students to analyze the case in more depth. This assignments requires the use of both the NSPE and AIChE Codes of Ethics as context for the analysis. The students then take a quiz on the NSPE Code of Ethics.

c.       The Paper Knowledge Exam measures the students’ retention of knowledge of engineering and technology concepts that they have studied in the PS&E curriculum.

d.      Finally, students present their design projects at the annual meeting of the Academic Advisory Committee, the industry advisory board for the program. Representatives from industry who attend the meeting evaluate each student’s presentation skills, as well as the performance on the design projects (using the rubrics for Student Outcomes c and g).

3.       Faculty evaluation of all evidence gathered in PSEN 484/486 then follows, usually during the week after spring finals.

a.       All faculty evaluate the senior portfolios independently, then meet to discuss the rubrics, coming to an agreement on each student’s performance.

b.      The instructor for the senior design courses compiles the rubric data for the ethics assignments and quiz. These assignments target two specific performance criteria that students performed at a consistently low level in prior years. This data is shared and discussed with the entire faculty.

c.       Results from the Paper Knowledge Exam, including a question-by-question analysis, are discussed.

d.      Results from the AAC evaluations are collated and discussed.

4.       The discussion of the assessment results shown in (3) identifies changes that are needed in the curriculum to improve student achievement on the outcomes. The ABET Liaison writes an annual report on the assessment activity (Assessment Summary Report).

5.       The faculty implement changes in their courses that have been identified as necessary.​

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