In the past years, research on engineering education reform has tended to rely on quantitative data obtained from questionnaire surveys. The present study seeks to examine the impact of engineering education accreditation implementation over the past eight years from the multiple perspectives of faculty members, department chairmen as well as the deans in colleges of engineering in Taiwan. Total of 471 valid questionnaires are collected from the deans, department chairmen and faculty members. In addition, in depth interviews are conducted among 20 subjects from the college of engineering located at the northern, central and southern areas of Taiwan. The results from the questionnaire survey are quite impressive with over 70% of faculty members express their agreement with almost all items in the questionnaire. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to note that despite the questionnaire survey responses revealed the positive changes in curriculum planning and teaching, there was a significant disparity between the questionnaire responses and the information provided during the in-depth interviews. On the basis of the findings and discussion presented above, the following two conclusions and recommendations are addressed. First of all, although engineering college faculty members did make certain adjustments to their curriculum planning and teaching activities, there is an urgent need for professional development activities to align their professional expertise with respect to outcomes-based curriculum planning and teaching, e.g. how to integrate the results of student evaluation as a basis for the continuous improvement of their courses. Secondly, based on the results of this study, accreditation could have the negative effect of leading faculty members to feel that the university authorities do not believe they are capable of doing their jobs properly. Future research in this field could involve the collection of multiple assessment resources in order to provide a paradigm of best practice for outcomes-based accreditation approach.
Pei-Fen Chang, National Central University, Taiwan
Miao-Chen Lin, National Central University, Taiwan
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