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ABET Criterion 3.f : how much curriculum content is enough?

journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by B Barry, Matthew Ohland
Even after multiple cycles of ABET accreditation, many engineering pro-grams are unsure of howmuch curriculum content is needed to meet the requirements ofABET’s Criterion 3.f (an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility). This study represents the first scholarly attempt to assess the impact of curriculum reform following the introduction of ABET Criterion 3.f. This study sought to determine how much professional and ethical responsibility curriculum contentwas used between 1995and 2005, as well as how, when, why, and to what effect changes in the amount of content occurred. Subsequently, the study sought to evaluate if different amounts of curriculum content generated differing student outcomes. The amount of curriculum content used by each of the participating programs was identified during semi-structured interviews with program administrators and a review of ABET Self-Study documents. Quantitative methods were applied to determine if a relationship existed between the curriculum content and performance on a nationally administered, engineering-specific standardized examination. The findings indicate a statistical relationship, but a lack of structure between the amount of required content in the curriculum and performance on the examination. Additional findings were also generated regarding the way that programs interpret the Criterion 3.f feedback generated during accreditation visits. The primary impact of this study is that it dispels the myth that more courses or course timeon professionalism and ethics will necessarily lead to positive engineering educationoutcomes. Much of the impetus to add more curriculum content results from a lack of conclusive feedback during ABET accreditation visits.

History

Volume

18

Issue

2

Start Page

369

End Page

392

Number of Pages

24

eISSN

1471-5546

ISSN

1353-3452

Location

United States

Publisher

Springer

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Not affiliated to a Research Institute; Purdue University; United States Military Academy;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Journal

Science and engineering ethics.