Making A Partnership Work: Outcomes Assessment Of A Multi Task, Multi Institutional Project

Jens Jorgensen, Lueny Morell de Ramírez, José L. Zayas, John Lamancusa
1997 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
This paper describes the Manufacturing Engineering Education Partnership (MEEP) project's summative assessment strategy. Since 1994, three universities, Penn State, University of Washington and University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, have been working together to develop a new, practice-based curriculum and physical facilities for product realization and manufacturing. The overall outcome is the development at each participating institution of
more » ... ing institution of what we call The Learning Factory. In addition to describing the project's four major tasks and deliverables, we present the assessment plan, its principal elements, and the tools used for qualitative evaluation. Finally, the paper highlights some of the assessment results and reviews some of the elements that made this partnership a success. The assessment strategy presented in this paper could be used as a model for similar multiinstitutional, multi-task projects. Background During the last decade, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has sponsored coalitions and partnerships between various higher educational institutions, which focus on enhancing undergraduate engineering education. The goals and objectives of these projects -oftentimes multi-million dollar, multi-institutional, and interdisciplinary -are carried out by working teams. In 1994, NSF granted (with funds from the ARPA Technology Reinvestment Program) a unique group of universities -Penn State, University of Washington and University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez -in collaboration with Sandia National money to a project called the Manufacturing Engineering Education Partnership (MEEP). The overall outcome of the project was the development of what we call The Learning Factory at each participating institution. The program calls for the development of a new practice-based curriculum and physical facilities for product realization and manufacturing. The major goal is to provide an improved educational experience that emphasizes the interdependency of manufacturing and design in a business environment. The overall outcome intended to graduate better engineering professionals exhibiting the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the highly competitive world of today and tomorrow. The key element in this approach is active learning: the combination of curriculum revitalization coordinated with hands-on experiences. Thus, the gap is reduced between traditional lecture vs laboratory, academia
doi:10.18260/1-2--6673 fatcat:wnu7m4eh6vhkdlmy4krqii77gi