Feedback Control Loop Guides ABET Process

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 12:55 PM
151 G Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Polly R. Piergiovanni, Chemical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lafayette College was most recently evaluated by ABET in October 2008. The year before our visit was a transitional year, so the department re-evaluated its ABET preparation procedures during that time. The result was a feedback loop diagram, explaining the “Process to Establish and Revise Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes”. From this diagram, the ABET responsibilities of the faculty, the department and the advisory board are clear. After the diagram was created, the department standardized assessment tools and procedures and a calendar for the various tasks.

As a result, data is collected annually for each course, with little extra time required by faculty. If changes have been made for a course, the data can show if student learning improved. In addition, transfer of courses between faculty occurs more smoothly. With the review schedule, the department can observe trends and make adjustments at the correct time (allowing time for changes to flow through the loop). The feedback loop diagram, the tools and the procedures will be shared in the presentation, as well as initial results from the process.

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