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Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction: What Gets Measured is What Gets Improved
Figure 1.1Engineering Education Organizations and Centers (adapted from Atman, 2007).
To a large extent, however, graduate students who plan to pursue academic careers receive little or no supervised instruction in teaching. Thus new faculty members must usually develop their own approaches and styles of teaching. The application of metrics and institutional resources for evaluating progress would make it much easier for all faculty members to develop and improve their teaching skills continually. Additionally, a formal evaluation of teaching effectiveness would likely benefit graduate students’ exposure to teaching and learning concerns as well as their preparation for future teaching responsibilities.
Another reason for evaluating teaching and learning is that the demands on practicing engineers are changing, and the system for engineering education must necessarily change with those demands. In this fast-moving environment, it is important to assess how teaching is changing and whether the changes are effective.1
DRIVERS OF CHANGE IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION
The need for effective evaluation of teaching is an ongoing one; however, there are a number of recent developments that impact upon engineering education and make evaluation all
Concerns about the quality and efficacy of higher education have elicited a variety of responses. Two prominent examples are a workshop in the Association of American Medical Schools, Advancing Educators and Education:Defining the Components and Evidence of Educational Scholarship (2007). Washington, D.C.: AAMC, and a review of indicators of quality teaching and learning by the Carrick Institute (Australia) in Chalmers. D., A Reviewof Australian and International Quality Systems and Indicators of Learning and Teaching (2007). Chippendale, NSW: The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Ltd. [Note: The Carrick Institute is now known as the Australian Learning and Teaching Center.]