A Self-efficacy Survey for Engineering Graduate Attributes Assessment

A Self-efficacy Survey for Engineering Graduate Attributes Assessment

R. Brennan, R. Hugo (2017).  A Self-efficacy Survey for Engineering Graduate Attributes Assessment. 13.

In this paper, we report on a self-efficacy [1] survey that was developed by the authors for use in the Schulich School of Engineering’s continual improvement process. The self-efficacy survey used for this study focuses on the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board’s (CEAB) twelve graduate attributes [2].

Under these criteria, Canadian engineering programs are required to assess student graduate attributes in these twelve general areas, and demonstrate that a process is being followed to continuously improve the programs. In order to demonstrate that graduates of an engineering program possess these general attributes, each graduate attribute was expanded into a set of indicators that “describe specific abilities expected of students to demonstrate each attribute” [2]. In addition to providing a means of obtaining evidence to determine if the attribute has been achieved, the indicators had to be acceptable within the context of the program’s educational objectives, as well as understood and meaningful to those involved in the assessments (e.g., faculty, students, alumni).

The self-efficacy survey reported in this paper is one of a set of measurement tools that are being used for graduate attributes assessment. Self-efficacy is defined as “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations” [1]. In this case, students were asked to indicate how confident they were in their ability, at the time of the survey, to perform a variety of activities related to the CEAB’s twelve graduate attributes: i.e., each graduate attribute was associated with 3 to 4 survey questions. All questions were posed in the form of “how confident are you in your current ability to …”, and students were required to rate their confidence on a five-interval scale ranging from 0% “no confidence” to 100% “total confidence” (in 25% intervals).

In this paper, we provide an overview of the self-efficacy survey and reflect on our experience with the survey in the context of graduate attributes assessment over a six-year period. We report on the internal consistency of the survey questions, and compare student self-efficacy across multiple years and across two programs (the BSc in Mechanical Engineering program and the Shantou Group Study program).

1. Bandura, A., Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies. Cambridge University Press, 1995. 2. Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, Accreditation Criteria and Procedures, https://www.engineerscanada.ca/sites/default/files/Accreditation_Criteri... dures_2015.pdf.

Proceedings of the 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada, June 18-22 2017

Authors (New): 
Robert W Brennan
Ronald J Hugo
University of Calgary, Canada
Student assessment
design education
continual improvement
CDIO Standard 12
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