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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Paper Knowledge Exam measures the students’
retention of knowledge of engineering and technology concepts that they have
studied in the PS&E curriculum.
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).
Faculty evaluation of all evidence gathered in
PSEN 484/486 then follows, usually during the week after spring finals.
All faculty evaluate the senior portfolios
independently, then meet to discuss the rubrics, coming to an agreement on each
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.
Results from the Paper Knowledge Exam, including
a question-by-question analysis, are discussed.
Results from the AAC evaluations are collated
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).
The faculty implement changes in their courses
that have been identified as necessary.