Development of a Mechanical Engineering Test Item Bank to promote learning outcomes-based education in Japanese and Indonesian higher education institutions

Jeffrey S. Cross, Estiyanti Ekawati, Satoko Fukahori, Shinnosuke Obi, Yugo Saito, Nathanael P. Tandian, Farid Triawan


Following on the 2008-2012 OECD Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) feasibility study of civil engineering, in Japan a mechanical engineering learning outcomes assessment working group was established within the National Institute of Education Research (NIER), which became the Tuning National Center for Japan. The purpose of the project is to develop among engineering faculty members, common understandings of engineering learning outcomes, through the collaborative process of test item development, scoring, and sharing of results. By substantiating abstract level learning outcomes into concrete level learning outcomes that are attainable and assessable, and through measuring and comparing the students’ achievement of learning outcomes, it is anticipated that faculty members will be able to draw practical implications for educational improvement at the program and course levels. The development of a mechanical engineering test item bank began with test item development workshops, which led to a series of trial tests, and then to a large scale test implementation in 2016 of 348 first semester master’s students in 9 institutions in Japan, using both multiple choice questions designed to measure the mastery of basic and engineering sciences, and a constructive response task designed to measure “how well students can think like an engineer.” The same set of test items were translated from Japanese into to English and Indonesian, and used to measure achievement of learning outcomes at Indonesia’s Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) on 37 risingfourth yearundergraduate students. This paper highlights how learning outcomes assessment can effectively facilitate learning outcomes-based education, by documenting the experience of Japanese and Indonesian mechanical engineering faculty members engaged in the NIER Test Item Bank project.

Published online
: 30 November 2017


learning outcomes; quality assurance; educational improvement; mechanical engineering; Japan; Indonesia; test item bank

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