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					               Mechanical Engineering
     Student Learning Outcome Assessment Report
1. Department/Program Mission
     The mission of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is –

        to build and enhance the excellent public program that the Department of
         Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering currently is, and to be recognized as
         such;

        to provide our students with experiences in solving open-ended problems of
         industrial and societal need through learned skills in integrating engineering
         sciences, and synthesizing and developing useful products and processes;

        to provide experiences in leadership, teamwork, communications — oral, written
         and graphic —, and hands-on activities, with the help of structured and
         unstructured real-life projects.


2. Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
     a. Campus-Wide Student Learning Outcomes:
        Programs must demonstrate that their graduates have:
            I. an ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
           II. an ability to think critically and analyze effectively.
          III. an ability to apply disciplinary knowledge and skills in solving critical
               problems.
          IV. an ability to function in diverse learning and working environments.
           V. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
          VI. an awareness of national and global contemporary issues.
         VII. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long
               learning.

     b. ME Program Outcomes
     The ME program has for many years been assessing program outcomes based on
     ABET terminology. The current ME program outcomes are specified below.

     Students graduating from this program should have:
     (a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
     (b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret
         data



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(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within
    realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical,
    health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions
    in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for
    engineering practice
(l) an ability to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas


c. Mapping Between Campus Learning Outcomes and ME Program Outcomes
The Campus Learning Outcomes and the ME Program Outcomes are very
compatible. To avoid duplication of effort and confusion of assessment processes,
the ME program will continue to assess and document the ME Program Outcomes.
Table 1 shows the correlation between the two sets of outcomes. Five of them are
almost exact matches. Two of the Campus Learning Outcomes are addressed by
multiple ME Program Outcomes. By satisfying the ME Program Outcomes, the
Campus Learning Outcomes will inherently be satisfied.

               Table 1. Correlation of Campus Learning Outcomes
                           to ME Program Outcomes

                           Campus        Corresponding
                      Learning Outcome ME Program Outcome
                              1                 g
                              2                b, e
                              3             a, c, e, k
                              4                 d
                              5                 f
                              6                  j
                              7                  i




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3. Curriculum Mapping to Campus and/or Program Outcomes
     Table 2 shows a correlation between specific Mechanical Engineering courses in the
     curriculum and the Outcomes. A similar correlation is given for Non-ME required
     courses in Table 3. This correlation is particularly important in addressing any
     assessed weaknesses in specific Outcomes, by indicating which parts of the
     curriculum are most directly relevant in affecting the particular Outcome. This table
     demonstrates that the majority of the required courses are expected to contribute to
     multiple Outcomes, and each Outcome is to be satisfied by many different courses.



                    Table 2. Correlation of Curriculum with Outcomes
                                 ME Required Courses

                Required Courses                a   b c d e       f g h     i j k      l
        ME 153 Intro to Manufact. Process       x     x   x                 x   x
        ME 160 Dynamics                         x         x                          x
        ME 161 Intro to Design                  x     x x x        x               x
        ME 208 Machine Design                   x     x   x      x x x x           x x
        ME 211 Linear Systems in ME             x     x   x
        ME 213 Machine Dynamics                 x     x   x        x       x x
        ME 219 Thermodynamics                   x         x      x x x x   x
        ME 221 Applied Thermodynamics           x     x   x        x x x x x x
        ME 225 Heat Transfer                    x         x                x
        ME 231Thermofluid Mechanics I           x         x
        ME 240 Mech. Instrument. Lab            x   x x x x      x x x x x
        ME 242 ME Systems Lab                   x   x x x x      x x   x   x x
        ME 261 Engineering Design               x   x x x x      x x x x x x x
        ME 279 Auto. Control of Mech. Syst.     x   x     x                x
        ME 280 Control Systems Lab              x   x x x x      x x   x   x x




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                   Table 3. Correlation of Curriculum with Outcomes
                              Non-ME Required Courses


              Courses             a   b    c   d   e   f   g   h      i   j   k   l
Engl 20 Composition                                        X   X              X
Communication Elective                         X           X   X              X
History elective                                       X       X   X      X
Economics elective                    X                        X          X   X
Literature elective                                        X   X   X
Hum/Soc. Sc. elective                                          X
Adv. Hum/Soc. Sc. elective                                     X
Math 14 Calculus I                X                X                          X
Math 15 Calculus II               X                X                          X
Math 22 Calculus III              X                X                          X
Math 204 Differential Eqns.       X                X                          X
Math/Stat elective                X   X            X                          X
CSc 73/74 Basic Sci Program.      X                X                          X
CSc 77/78 Comp Prog. Lab          X                X                          X
Chem 1 General Chemistry          X                X                          X
Chem 2 Gen. Chemistry Lab         X   X            X       X                  X
Phys 23 Engineering Physics I     X   X            X       X                  X   X
Phys 24 Engineering Phys II       X   X            X       X                  X   X
EE 281 Electrical Circuits        X                X                          X
FE 10 Study & Career in Eng.                   X   X   X   X   X   X      X
IDE 20 Eng Design w/ Comp         X   X    X   X   X   X   X   X              X   X
EMgt 124 Principles of Eng. Mgt            X   X   X   X   X   X   X          X
EMgt 137 Econ. of Eng. Proj.                           X       X          X   X
Met 121 Metallurgy for Eng        X        X       X                          X
IDE 50 Statics                    X        X       X                          X   X
IDE 110 Mech of Materials         X        X       X                          X   X
IDE 120 Materials Lab             X   X            X   X   X                  X   X




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     The Mechanical Engineering Program is designed to prepare students for professional
     practice in a broad spectrum of industries and environments. The curriculum focuses
     on fundamentals, taught from a first-principles approach, complemented with a
     regular opportunity to engage in practical and experiential endeavors. The first-
     principles approach is important to prepare the graduates to be able to continue
     learning as they encounter new methods and technologies in their careers. The
     experiential aspect of the curriculum helps bridge the classic gap between academic
     knowledge and real-world engineering practice.

     From the beginning of the curriculum to the end, students are oriented toward
     professional practice. In the Study & Careers in Engineering course (FE 10), the
     students are exposed to the practice of engineering, the various disciplines, the
     working environment, and the professional role and responsibility of the engineer.
     The curriculum includes course work in engineering management, including various
     topics relevant to the professional interactions within an engineering team and a
     corporate environment. The senior capstone course includes a series of lectures,
     mostly by practicing engineers, covering various professional topics, e.g. ethics,
     intellectual property, environmental considerations, codes and standards, benefits and
     personal finances.

4. Methods/Instruments and Administration
     The ME program utilizes multiple assessment instruments to assess the outcomes.
     The primary assessment instruments are (a) direct measurements from specific course
     assignments, (b) a graduating senior exit exam, and (c) the Fundamentals of
     Engineering exam. Indirect survey instruments of graduating seniors and alumni are
     also used as checkpoints.

     Table 4 shows the ME Program Outcomes subdivided into more specific measurable
     performance criteria. Also shown in the table for each performance criteria are the
     direct assessment instrument and the acceptable performance metric. For a given
     outcome to be considered achieved, all performance metrics must be met for all of the
     performance criteria associated with the outcome.

     Table 5 summarizes for each campus outcome the specific performance criteria
     utilized, the type of evaluation tool, and whether the performance criteria and
     outcomes met the acceptable performance metric. This table was generated from data
     obtained in the spring of 2010. Additional data was gathered at the end of the Fall
     2010 semester, but has not yet been organized and evaluated.




                                         5
                                           Table 4. Direct Measures of Outcomes for Mechanical Engineering


         Outcome                                        Performance Criterion                             Assessment Instrument               Performance Metric

                                                                                                            FE exam. Exit Exam,             FE: average ≥ to national rates.
                                           Ability to apply algebra, trig, calculus, and ordinary
                                     a.1                                                                    problems come from math         Exit Exam: 90% of students
                                           differential equations in modeling engineering problems.
                                                                                                            courses                         correctly answer ≥ 50%.
                                                                                                            FE exam. Exit Exam,             FE: average ≥ to national rates.
         an ability to apply               Ability to identify and apply pertinent principles of science to
                               a.2                                                                          problems come from chem         Exit Exam: 90% of students
a   knowledge of mathematics,              engineering applications.
                                                                                                            and physics courses             correctly answer ≥ 50%.
     science, and engineering.
                                                                                                            FE exam. Exit Exam,
                                           Ability to apply the fundamental concepts of each of the                                         FE: average ≥ to national rates.
                                                                                                            problems come from ME 160,
                                     a.3   engineering topics including thermodynamics, heat transfer,                                      Exit Exam: 90% of students
                                                                                                            208, 211, 213, 219, 225, 231,
                                           fluids, machine design, dynamics, and controls.                                                  correctly answer ≥ 50%.
                                                                                                            279
      an ability to design and             Ability to design an experiment to measure a certain concept ME 242 grade on design of
                                     b.1                                                                                                    90% of students grade ≥ C
      conduct experiments, as              or phenomena.                                                    experiment assignment
b      well as to analyze and                                                                               ME 242 grade on last
                                     b.2   Ability to acquire, analyze and interpret experimental data.                                     90% of students grade ≥ C
           interpret data.                                                                                  experiment report
                                                                                                            ME 261, problem statement
        an ability to design a       c.1   Ability to formulate a problem statement.                        assignment, score based on      90% of students grade ≥ C
       system, component, or                                                                                rubric
    process to meet desired need                                                                            ME 261, mid semester design
                                     c.2   Ability to generate conceptual design solutions.                                                 90% of students grade ≥ C
     within realistic constraints                                                                           review, score based on rubric
c        such as economic,
                                     c.3   Ability to bring a final design to realization.
                                                                                                            ME 261, final report, score
                                                                                                                                            90% of students grade ≥ C
       environmental, social,                                                                               based on rubric
    political, ethical, health and                                                                          ME 261, final presentation
     safety, manufacturability,                                                                             evaluation by panel of
         and sustainability.         c.4   Ability to recognize and address realistic constraint issues.                                    90% of students grade ≥ C
                                                                                                            industry evaluators, score
                                                                                                            based on rubric
                                           Actively participates in and effectively contributes to team                                     90% of students≥ "meets
                                     d.1                                                                    ME 261 peer evaluation
    Ability to function on multi-          assignments.                                                                                     expectations"
d        disciplinary teams.                                                                                                                90% of students≥ "meets
                                     d.2 Ability to lead and/or follow as appropriate in a team setting. ME 261 peer evaluation
                                                                                                                                            expectations"

        an ability to identify,          Ability to identify, formulate, and solve an appropriate
                                                                                                          Exit Exam, word problems          90% of students correctly
e       formulate, and solve         e.1 mathematical model that represents an engineering problem
                                                                                                          from a.3 courses                  answer ≥ 50%.
       engineering problems.             from a descriptive statement.

                                                                                     6
                                     Recognizes the ethically salient features of dilemmas and can    Exit Exam, questions from       90% of students correctly
        an understanding of      f.1
                                     suggest options for the ethical resolution of dilemmas.          ethics professor                answer ≥ 50%.
f     professional and ethical
                                     Familiarity with the Code of Ethics for Engineers as             Exit Exam, questions from       90% of students correctly
           responsibility.       f.2
                                     published by NSPE.                                               Code of Ethics                  answer ≥ 50%.
                                                                                                      ME 242, oral report, score
                                 g.1 Effectively communicates in oral presentations.                                                  90% of students grade ≥ C
    an ability to communicate                                                                         based on rubric
g           effectively.                                                                              ME 242, grade on last lab
                                 g.2 Effectively communicates in written technical reports.                                           90% of students grade ≥ C
                                                                                                      report
          the broad education         Ability to relate engineering issues within an historical       Exit Exam, questions from       90% of students correctly
                                  h.1
    necessary to understand the       context.                                                        H/SS faculty                    answer ≥ 50%.
        impact of engineering
h        solutions in a global,
                                      Ability to critically analyze the impacts of engineering
                                                                                                      Exit Exam, questions from       90% of students correctly
                                  h.2 solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal
     economic, environmental,                                                                         H/SS faculty                    answer ≥ 50%.
                                      contexts.
         and societal context.
                                      Recognizes the value of pursuing advanced educational                                           90% of students "expect to
                                  i.1                                                                 Senior exit survey, intention
                                      opportunities.                                                                                  pursue advanced education".
      a recognition of the need                                                                                                       90% of students "expect to
                                      Recognizes the value of engagement with the technical
i   for, and an ability to engage i.2
                                      community.
                                                                                                      Senior exit survey, intention   engage with technical
         in life-long learning.                                                                                                       community".
                                                                                                ME 261, Section of final
                                      Ability to conduct literature survey or background study to
                                  i.3                                                                                                 90% of students grade ≥ C
                                      pursue a given project.                                   report, score based on rubric
                                      Demonstrates awareness and knowledge of critical          Exit Exam, questions from             90% of students correctly
                                  j.1
            a knowledge of            contemporary issues relevant to engineering.              H/SS faculty                          answer ≥ 50%.
j        contemporary issues.                                                                   Exit Exam, questions from
                                      Demonstrates awareness of current affairs at the national and                                   90% of students correctly
                                  j.2
                                      global level.                                             current news items                    answer ≥ 50%.
                                                                                                (ME 211, 219, 213, 225, or
                                    Ability to use modern software packages in modeling and
         an ability to use the  k.1                                                             280), grade on specific               90% of students grade ≥ C
                                    solving engineering problems.
       techniques, skills, and                                                                  assignments
k    modern engineering tools
                                k.2
                                    Ability to acquire experimental data using data acquisition ME 240, grade on design of
                                                                                                                                      90% of students grade ≥ C
     necessary for engineering      and instrumentation                                         experiment project
              practice.                                                                         ME 161, pass rate on CAD
                                k.3 Ability to use CAD software.                                                                      90% of students pass
                                                                                                proficiency exam
                                                                                                Exit Exam, collective score
                                    Ability to apply fundamental concepts from thermodynamics,                                        90% of students correctly
          an ability to work   l.1                                                              on problems from ME 219,
                                    heat transfer, and fluids                                                                         answer ≥ 50%.
       professionally in both                                                                   225, and 231
l     thermal and mechanical                                                                    Exit Exam, collective score
                                    Ability to apply fundamental concepts from machine design,                                        90% of students correctly
           systems areas.      l.2                                                              on problems from ME 208,
                                    dynamics, and controls                                                                            answer ≥ 50%.
                                                                                                211, 213, and 279

                                                                               7
              Table 5. Program Outcomes Assessment Methods and Administration
                             Assessed Spring 2010. Evaluated Fall 2010.


            Measure/       Data                             Results
Learning                               Administered                      Criterion   Outcome     Recommendations
           Performance   Collection                        Reviewed
Outcomes                                   by                            achieved?   achieved?    (See Section 5)
             Criteria     Method                              by


                           Course
               g.1                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
Outcome                  assignment
                                                                                       Yes
   1                       Course
               g.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
                           Course
               b.1                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
Outcome                    Course                                                       No
               b.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
   2                     assignment
               e.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
               a.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
               a.2       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
               a.3       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
                           Course
               c.1                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
                           Course
               c.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
                           Course
               c.3                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
Outcome                  assignment                                                     No
   3                       Course
               c.4                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
               e.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
                           Not yet
               k.1       implemented
                                           N/A               N/A           N/A                         None
                           Course                                                                Evaluate for action
               k.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair      No
                         assignment                                                                    item
                           Course
               k.3                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
                           Course
               d.1                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
Outcome                                                                                Yes
                           Course
   4           d.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment
               f.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
Outcome                                                                                 No
   5           f.2       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
               j.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty        Yes                   Calibrate exit exam
Outcome                                                                                Yes
   6           j.2       Exit exam        faculty           faculty        Yes                   Calibrate exit exam
               i.1       Exit exam        faculty           faculty         No                   Calibrate exit exam
Outcome                    Course
   7           i.2                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment                                                     No
                           Course
               i.3                        faculty         Assoc. chair     Yes                         None
                         assignment




                                                      8
5. Results and Changes Implemented or Planned
     a. Findings
     The exit exam and the course-based direct assessment instruments are new, and are
     utilized to assess many of the outcomes. As was anticipated, after the first assessment
     cycle, it is more important to evaluate and calibrate the instruments than to try to
     draw conclusions regarding achievement of the outcomes. Consequently, the
     indications of whether the outcomes were achieved in Table 5 are not particularly
     meaningful at this time and will not be itemized. Analysis of the results pointed out
     several issues.

     An example of one of these issues is that the scores from several of the course-related
     assessment instruments were generally very high. Some of this is due to the nature of
     grading on project-based assignments and on presentation skills. More rigorous
     rubric-based assessment guidelines are being developed for the more subjective
     assessment tools. This is expected to provide more valuable feedback regarding
     specific areas needing attention. This issue also pointed out the value of tracking the
     average scores in addition to the minimum Performance Metric, in order to determine
     areas for improvement, even when the minimum metric is achieved. An example is
     Performance Criteria i.3, relative to an ability to conduct a literature survey or
     background study. Though the Performance Metric is satisfied with 95% of the
     students achieving greater than the required rubric score of 2, it is clear from
     comparison of the average scores that this is the lowest scoring area. Accordingly, it
     will be targeted as an area to improve.

     The scores from the first Exit Exam were found to be generally lower than hoped.
     While it is desirable for the exam to be sufficiently rigorous to focus attention where
     needed, the students’ performance appears to indicate even the best students
     performed below many of the target performance metrics. The faculty endeavored to
     generate questions that were realistically expected to reflect knowledge and
     understanding that should be retained even years after covering the material. For a
     new comprehensive, concept-focused exam, it is necessary to validate and calibrate
     the exam itself before using the results to make significant changes in the curriculum.

     Initial observation of the exit exam data shows several questions in which the
     percentage of correct answers is exceptionally low, even under 5% in a few cases.
     These questions certainly warrant close scrutiny to validate that they are clear and
     accurate. Since the number of questions in any particular category is small,
     sometimes as low as four, any anomalies in the makeup of the questions can have
     significant impact on the percentage of students achieving the performance metric.

     Another issue regarding the validity of the Exit Exam results is whether the students
     took it seriously. There was no penalty for poor performance. Observations at the
     time of the exam administration indicated that the students were anxious to finish and
     move on to other assignments. While the exam questions were designed to need little




                                          9
calculation, many of them do need some thought. The eventual plan is to link the
exam performance to a portion of the grade for the capstone design course to provide
an incentive for the students to put forth their best effort. The original plan was not to
associate the exam with the students’ grades until the exam had been validated. It
turned out that it is very difficult to validate the exam without first making it clear to
the students that it will have an impact on their grades. For the second administration
of the exam, students were informed that a reasonable performance indicating a good-
faith effort was mandatory to receive a final grade for the capstone design course.
Screening of the exam results indicated that all of the students made an effort to
complete the exam.

Statistical data from each question and from specific sets of questions have been
generated through custom programming by campus Testing Center personnel.
Statistical information from specific questions was sent back to the appropriate
committee of instructors that generated the questions. The committees evaluated the
data to determine if the questions were believed to accurately reflect the knowledge
expected. Revisions were made to improve the clarity of the questions, to eliminate
or revise questions (or answer choices) that are deemed to be ambiguous, and to hone
in on questions better targeted to determine desired information. The faculty is
convinced that the Exit Exam will be an excellent assessment tool that will provide
much greater feedback to the curriculum than has been available from the FE exam.
Accordingly, significant effort is being devoted to working out the details. In the
meanwhile, though the current metrics are not very meaningful regarding whether the
outcomes have been achieved, a substantially new system of direct measurements is
now in place.

The revised exam was administered at the end of the Fall 2010 semester. Initial
screening of overall results indicates significant improvement from the first
administration. The exam statistics will be organized and evaluated by the faculty for
continued improvement and calibration of the exam during the Spring 2011 semester.
After the Spring 2011 exam is administered, the faculty will evaluate all the
assessment data during its annual assessment meeting in Fall 2011.

b. Use of results
As explained in the previous section, the action items associated with this assessment
cycle are focused on improvement and calibration of the new assessment tools. The
following actions are underway:
     Implement more rigorous rubric-based evaluations of the assessment tools
       associated with course assignments, particularly in ME 242 and ME 261.
     Evaluate and improve the exit exam to ensure its validity as an assessment
       tool. The first round has already been done for the second administration of
       the exam. Another round will be undertaken in the spring of 2011.




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