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The entire process of outcomes assessment, evaluation and closing the loop is streamlined by systematically collecting, compiling and presenting the data at the course and program level for an easy review and analysis. As a result, robust assessment data by multiple raters for ABET student learning outcomes as well as course learning outcomes is collected by comprehensively measuring a significant number of specific performance indicators in comparatively much shorter time frames (more than 60% of ABET student outcomes are measured by a program in just one semester at Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University whereas typical embedded assessments cover only 2 or 3 outcomes per semester about 25% of ABET student outcomes as suggested by Mead, Turnquest& Wallace, 2006) resulting in quicker cycles for measuring all ABET student outcomes and relatively comprehensive program term review leading to establishment of an efficient continuous improvement system.
EvalTools® 6 is chosen as the platform for outcomes assessment instead of Blackboard® (several software applications are cited including TrueOutcomes® for outcomes assessment due to the inadequacy of Blackboard® by Kumaran& Lindquist, 2007) since it employs the unique FCAR and EAMU performance vector methodology (Estell, Yoder, Morrison & Mak, 2012; Mak & Kelly, 2010; Liu &Chen, 2012) which facilitate the use of existing curricular grade giving assessments for outcomes measurement and help in achieving a high level of automation of the data collection process, feature-rich pick-and-choose assessment/reporting tools, and the flexibility to provide customized features.EvalTools® 6 FCAR module components available with summative or formative options are: course description, course outcomes indirect assessment, grade distribution, course outcomes direct assessment, assignment list, course reflections, old action items, new action items, student outcomes assessment and performance indicators assessment. The basis of assessment in FCAR (Estell et al., 2012; Mak et al., 2010) is the EAMU performance vector (Liu et al., 2012). The EAMU performance vector (refer Figure 1) counts the number of students that passed the course whose proficiency for that outcome was rated Excellent, Adequate, Minimal, or Unsatisfactory(Liu et al., 2012).
Program faculty report failing course outcomes (COs), ABET student outcomes (SOs), performance indicators (PIs), comments on student indirect assessments (refer figures below)and other general issues of concern in the respective course reflections section of the FCAR. Based upon these course reflections, new action items are generated by the faculty. Old action items status details are carried over into the current FCAR from the information generated during the previous offering for this specific course. Modifications and proposals to a course are made with consideration of the status of the old action items. The Program Term Review module of EvalTools® 6 is focused on failing SOs and PIs for analysis and discussions relating to improvement. Average values of ABET SOs and weighted average values of PIs (Liu et al., 2012) with scientific color coding scheme indicate failures for investigation. Courses contributing to failing PIs and SOs are examined.