Aligning Assessment and Evaluation Methods to Support Students’ Identities as Holistic Engineers

Date(s) - 10/15/2018
3:00 pm

Jennifer Amos, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Engineering curricula often separate the technical knowledge that engineers possess from the social implications that their knowledge engages. However, recently, organizations like ABET and the National Academy of Engineers have begun to change this misconception through new outcomes and the socially-focused engineering grand challenges and calls for engineers to benefit humankind.

In this session, Amos will share a competency-based assessment framework based which leverages the following principles: learning is derived from multiple sources, learning engages the whole person and contributes to that person’s development, and learning must occur in context because its significance relates in part to its’ impact on greater contexts.  This framework also highlights experiences as unique meaning-making events that create diversity among learners. By reframing assessments in engineering to focus on development of holistic engineers, Amos posits that we can produce students who think holistically and demonstrate core technical capabilities that can be applied to disciplinary problems within societal contexts leading to impactful results. 


Jenny Amos is a Teaching Associate Professor in Bioengineering and the Director of Evaluation and Assessment/Quality Officer for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Amos performs research in global health, innovating medical devices and medical record systems for low-resource settings in Africa, as well as medical and engineering education. Amos is part of the Illinois NSF RED (Revolutionizing Engineering & Computer Science Departments) research team leading efforts to innovate assessment practices for engineering toward producing more holistic engineers.  Amos has a decade’s worth of experience leading curriculum reform implementing robust assessment strategies at multiple institutions.