This complete evidence-based paper presents a method for evaluating ABET student outcome (5) in a multidisciplinary capstone course. ABET has published a revised list of student outcomes detailed under ABET General Criterion 3, which replaces outcomes (a) through (k) with outcomes (1) through (7). The revised student outcomes place greater emphasis on measuring students’ ability to consider a wide range of factors in engineering situations and to address problems in multidisciplinary teams. The wide scope of outcome (5) presents unique challenges. This paper describes an assessment method for ABET student outcome (5), which assesses “…an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.” This assessment is performed by measuring each of the components of outcome (5): leadership, collaboration, inclusion, goal setting, task management, and an ability to meet objectives.
ABET requires that each program to be assessed independently without data from students of different majors, even if taking the same course. The capstone project sequence at XXX University is well-suited to assess students’ ability to work in a team; however, the capstone class consists of multidisciplinary teams drawn from multiple engineering programs, making disaggregation of data difficult.
The methodology presented in this paper utilizes multiple data sources to achieve a robust measurement that will be stable from year to year. The data collected includes a self/peer assessment performed by students and an assessment by the teams’ faculty advisors. The goal of these assessment tools is to capture data on the performance of the individual and the team as a whole. This paper presents methods of collecting data for assessment of outcome (5) along with methods for analyzing that data. Data from the 2019 capstone sequence at XXX University is used to demonstrate these methods. The end result is a clear, stable and independent metric that can be used to assess outcome (5) for each program major in a multidisciplinary capstone project.
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