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Feedback Loops Along The Pre-Requisite Tree

  • T.R. Bieler (a1), M. Huebner (a2), R.W. Soutas-Little (a1) and M.J. Crimp (a1)

Abstract

The ABET Engineering Criteria 2000 is stimulating development of quantitative feedback systems in the context of Engineering education. Efforts in developing feedback loops that carry quantitative information to facilitate the improvement of student learning in several engineering majors is summarized. Feedback loops are designed around the course learning objectives that were developed in the context of professional criteria specified by professional societies as well as ABET EC 2000 criteria 2 and 3, which define capabilities that all engineers must gain. Two feedback structures are described – one brings information from external sources such as alumni, employers, and the external advisory board, while the other moves information up and down the pedagogical prerequisite tree. Both loops go through the ABET/curriculum committee for assessment of progress and identification of needed changes. The tool developed to facilitate communication up and down the prerequisite tree is the course evaluation form, on which student and faculty assess students' mastery of the learning objectives. This form is passed through feedback loops that operate on many scales. Progress toward implementation is described, with emphasis on service courses that see student flow between different departments.

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