Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction

What Gets Measured Is What Gets Improved

Report from the Steering Committee for Evaluating Instructional Scholarship in Engineering

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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Developing Metrics for Assessing Engineering Instruction What Gets Measured Is What Gets Improved Report from the Steering Committee for Evaluating Instructional Scholarship in Engineering

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Academies, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the steering committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This is a report of work supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant No. 0633774. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessary reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-13782-9 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-13782-9 Cover: Socrates and His Students, by Johann Friedrich Greutner, 17th century. Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (888) 624-8373 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Steering Committee for Evaluating Instructional Scholarship in Engineering C. JUDSON KING, chair, University of California Berkeley SUSAN A. AMBROSE, Carnegie Mellon University RAOUL A. ARREOLA, University of Tennessee, Health Science Center KARAN WATSON, Texas A&M University Staff RICHARD M. TABER, Study Director NORMAN L. FORTENBERRY, Director, Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education JASON WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant ELIZABETH T. CADY, Associate Program Officer TYLISHA BABER, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow CAROL R. ARENBERG, Senior Editor

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Acknowledgements The committee wishes to thank the individuals that participated in the November 2007 workshop on instructional metrics. The conversations and insights gained in that workshop provided excellent guidance for the structure of this report. Special thanks are extended to the contributors of white papers for the workshop: Michael Theall (Youngstown State University), Lawrence M. Aleamoni (University of Arizona), and; Larry A. Braskamp (Loyola University of Chicago). This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NAE in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: CRISTINA AMON, University of Toronto MAURA BORREGO, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University JOHN CENTRA, Syracuse University ALAN CRAMB, Illinois Institute of Technology THOMAS LITZINGER, The Pennsylvania State University JACK LOHMANN, Georgia Institute of Technology RICHARD K. MILLER, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering MICHAEL THEALL, Youngstown State University REPORT REVIEW MONITOR LOUIS J. LANZEROTTI, New Jersey Institute of Technology vii

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Contents Executive Summary 1 1 Background, Framing, and Concepts 4 2 Governing Principles of Good Metrics 9 3 Assumptions 12 4 What to Measure 15 5 Measuring Teaching Performance 23 6 Conclusions and Recommendations 33 References 35 Appendixes A Workshop Agenda and Attendees 39 B Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 41 ix

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