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The influence of ABET accreditation practices on faculty approaches to teaching

Event Date: April 24, 2017
Authors: Matt Ohland and Jaqi McNeil
Journal / Conference: International Journal of Engineering Education
This paper investigates the effect of ABET accreditation processes on quality teaching using thematic analysis of descriptions from faculty in open-ended survey questions and logistic regression of quantitative survey questions about their pedagogy.
Ordinal logistic regression related faculty perspectives on accreditation terminology and processes to faculty teaching practices. There were 43 qualitative comments about ABET accreditation and 91 quantitative survey results used in this study. Faculty had overwhelmingly negative views regarding accreditation, believing that it adds to their workload, stifles their creativity, and distracts them from other important objectives including teaching. Faculty who express various negative views of either the goals or the practice of accreditation are less likely to engage in certain student-centered teaching practices. More positively, our findings show that faculty who tend to agree with the student-outcomes focus of the ABET criteria engage in richer educational experiences—they give students more writing assignments and allow students to learn collaboratively.
International Journal of Engineering Education 32, (3A), pp 1151-1159