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Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction: What Gets Measured is What Gets Improved
evaluations by department heads of those same items) can lead to a fuller understanding and more useful assessment of instructional effectiveness. Specific metrics and procedures are outlined in Chapters 4 and 5 of this report.
The following recommendations provide guidelines and specific actions to assist institutions and other stakeholders in developing and deploying metrics for instructional evaluations that will be widely accepted and relevant to engineering faculty.
Recommendations for Institutional Action
Institutions, engineering deans and department heads should:
Use multidimensional metrics that draw upon different constituencies to evaluate the content, organization, and delivery of course material and the assessment of student learning.
Take the lead in gaining widespread acceptance of metrics for evaluating scholarly instruction in engineering. Their links to faculty and institutional administrators give them the authority to engage in meaningful dialogue in the college of engineering and throughout the larger institution.
Seek to ensure appropriate quantities of evaluators who have the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide rigorous, meaningful assessments of instructional effectiveness (in much the same way that those institutions seek to ensure the development of the skills and knowledge required for excellent disciplinary research).
Seek out and take advantage of external resources, such as associations, societies, and/or programs focused on teaching excellence (e.g., Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Higher Education Academy (U.K.), and Professional and Organizational Development Network), as well as on campus teaching and learning resource centers and organizations focused on engineering education (e.g., International Society for Engineering Education [IGIP] and the Foundation Engineering Education Coalition’s web site on Active/Cooperative Learning: Best Practices in Engineering Education http://clte.asu.edu/active/main.htm).
Recommendations for External Stakeholders
Leaders of the engineering profession (including the National Academy of Engineering, the American Society for Engineering Education, ABET, Inc. The American Association of Engineering Societies, the Engineering Deans' Council, and the various engineering disciplinary societies) should:
Continue to promote programs and provide support for individuals and institutions pursuing efforts to accelerate the development and implementation of metrics for evaluating instructional effectiveness.
Seek to create and nurture models of metrics for evaluating instructional effectiveness. Each institution, of course, will have particular needs and demands; however, nationally known examples of well informed, well supported, and carefully developed instructional evaluation programs will benefit the entire field.