Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Outcome d an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

Introduction and Invitation

Constructing resources for assessment and instruction related to the eleven student outcomes contained in Criterion 3 of the ABET Engineering Criteria requires contributions across the entire engineering community. If you have one or more resources (for example, helpful papers, survey forms, assessment materials, instructional materials) for assessment and/or instructional related to outcome d click here. Please indicate whether and how you would like your contribution to be acknowledged. Thanks for contributing the growing understanding of how we might help engineering students develop knowledge and skills that they will draw upon throughout their careers.

Learning Objectives

The first step in selecting assessment and instructional approaches for a learning outcome is to formulate learning objectives that support the outcome. Learning objectives describe expectations associated with the outcome in terms of expected and observable performances. Several researchers have already constructed learning objectives and these may provide worthwhile starting points for others.

A team of researchers (Larry Shuman, Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre, Harvey Wolfe, Cynthia J. Atman, Jack McGourty, Ronald L. Miller, Barbara M. Olds, and Gloria M. Rogers) working a NSF-supported project, Engineering Education: Assessment Methodologies and Curricula Innovation, used Bloom's Taxonomy to develop and organize a set of learning objectives for outcome 3d (functioning on a multidisciplinary team) [1]. They developed learning objectives for all six levels of learning in Bloom's taxonomy for twelve outcome elements organized into three categories:

  • Collaboration and Conflict Management
    • Team Development: Basic principles of group development and interpersonal dynamics
    • Interpersonal style: Recognizing and capitalizing on differences in style and perspective
    • Conflict Management: Principles of problem-based conflict management
    • Participation: Understanding of and willingness to be fully involved in team efforts
  • Team Communication
    • Active Listening: Conveying understanding and using listening skills to move a conversation forward
    • Feedback: Giving and receiving constructive criticism
    • Influencing others: Persuading others through well reasoned use of facts and clear conveyance of ideas
    • Sharing Information: Providing and reviewing information in a timely manner
  • Team Decision Making
    • Defining a Problem: Identifying and articulating the problem to be solved
    • Innovation and idea generation: Generating creative and viable solutions
    • Judgment / Using facts: Reaching conclusions based upon clear analysis of facts and ideas
    • Reaching Consensus: Ensuring buy-in and commitment to decisions reached

Felder and Brent offer the following two learning objectives for outcome 3f (understand professional and ethical responsibility) [2]: Given a job-related scenario that requires a decision with ethical implications, the student will be able to:

  • Iidentify the stages of team development and give examples of team behaviors that are characteristic of each stage
  • Summarize effective strategies for dealing with a variety of interpersonal and communication problems that commonly arise in teamwork, choose the best of several given strategies for a specified problem, and justify the choice
  • Fnction effectively on a team, with effectiveness being determined by instructor observation, peer ratings, and selfassessment.
  • Explain aspects of a project, process, or product related to specified engineering and non-engineering disciplines.

Assessment Approaches

Under construction

Instructional Approaches

Under construction

References for Further Information

  1. Learning Outcomes/Attributes, ABET dFunctioning on Multidisciplinary Teams, accessed 16 November 2004
  2. Felder, R.M., and Brent, R. (2003). Designing and Teaching Courses to Satisfy the ABET Engineering Criteria. Journal of Engineering Education, 92:1, 7-25.

    Abstract: Since the new ABET accreditation system was first introduced to American engineering education in the middle 1990s as Engineering Criteria 2000, most discussion in the literature has focused on how to assess Outcomes 3a3k and relatively little has concerned how to equip students with the skills and attitudes specified in those outcomes. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Its goals are to (1) overview the accreditation process and clarify the confusing array of terms associated with it (objectives, outcomes, outcome indicators, etc.); (2) provide guidance on the formulation of course learning objectives and assessment methods that address Outcomes 3a3k; (3) identify and describe instructional techniques that should effectively prepare students to achieve those outcomes by the time they
    graduate; and (4) propose a strategy for integrating programlevel and course-level activities when designing an instructional program to meet the requirements of the ABET engineering criteria.


Ohland, M. W., Loughry, M. L., Carter, R. L, Bullard, L. G., Felder, R. M., Finelli, C. J., Layton, R. A., and Schmucker, D. G. (2005). Developing a Peer Evaluation Instrument that is Simple, Reliable, and Valid. Proceedings, Fourth Global Colloquium on Engineering Education

Abstract: A multi-university research team is working to design a peer evaluation instrument for cooperative learning teams that is simple, reliable, and valid. In this work, an overview of the
process of developing behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) will be presented, including the establishment of a theoretical basis for the instrument and a description of the extensive classroom testing of the draft instrument conducted during fall 2004.

Introducing the draft instrument to the engineering education community through exposure in the NSF grantees poster session is expected both to improve the validity of the scale itself through the feedback we receive and to accelerate the dissemination of the instrument.


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