A web application to assist in preparing for ABET accreditation

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Pal, Saveri
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Simanta Mitra
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Computer Science

Computer Science—the theory, representation, processing, communication and use of information—is fundamentally transforming every aspect of human endeavor. The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University advances computational and information sciences through; 1. educational and research programs within and beyond the university; 2. active engagement to help define national and international research, and 3. educational agendas, and sustained commitment to graduating leaders for academia, industry and government.

The Computer Science Department was officially established in 1969, with Robert Stewart serving as the founding Department Chair. Faculty were composed of joint appointments with Mathematics, Statistics, and Electrical Engineering. In 1969, the building which now houses the Computer Science department, then simply called the Computer Science building, was completed. Later it was named Atanasoff Hall. Throughout the 1980s to present, the department expanded and developed its teaching and research agendas to cover many areas of computing.

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ABET accreditation is a certification of an educational program’s quality and ensures that a program continually meets specific criteria. The process of creating an ABET accreditation report is burdensome and time consuming. It requires several pieces of information from multiple sources to be collected manually and included in the report. The current practice is error-prone and requires the effort of an entire faculty and administrative staff. While there have been previous efforts made to automate the evaluation of outcome assessments, little can be found on automating the data collection process. This work presents a web-based application software tool to automate data collection and report generation efforts in preparing an ABET accreditation document. Requirements for this application were gathered after several meetings with stakeholders of the ABET accreditation process. A combination of web crawling, data parsing and retrieving data from third-party applications such as Canvas LMS via API calls, have been used to gather information that is usually performed manually. Information collected include courses offered by the department, assignments of each course, student submissions, and their scores, among others. The web application tool features an intuitive user interface that allows users to add courses and assignments manually or pull them from Canvas LMS, add outcomes to courses and map them to ABET outcomes, and generate course reports and tables with one click of a button. The tool has the potential to automate a large part of the accreditation process, reducing manual effort by a considerable amount.

Sat May 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021