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Analysis Of Body Of Knowledge In Civil Engineering

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Implementation of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge and Recent ABET Experiences

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.213.1 - 14.213.14



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Paper Authors

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Jean-Pierre Bardet University of Southern California

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Gisele Ragusa University of Southern California

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


In response to major societal changes resulting from world urbanization and population increase, manmade and natural disasters, and globalization of manufacturing and design, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has launched a profound reform of engineering education which aims at evolving civil engineering in the 21st century. ASCE has recently released a Body of Knowledge (BOK version 2, 2007) in response to the changing needs of educating engineers to meet societal challenges. This paper examines how BOK2 applies the concept of learning tax- onomy, originally developed by Bloom (1956) and later revised by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001). This learning taxonomy articulates learning in a two dimensional framework that in- cludes knowledge dimensions and cognitive process dimensions. The knowledge dimensions in- clude factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge. The cognitive process di- mensions include six levels characterized by descriptors and actions including: remember, under- stand, apply, analyze, create, and evaluate. BOK2, which was developed using Bloom’s taxon- omy, is examined using Anderson’s and Krathwohl’s revised learning taxonomy as a guide. This is found to be an important step toward reforming engineering education. Indeed ASCE is among the first engineering profession to have adopted such a progressive approach to reforming engi- neering education. Our analysis suggests that BOK2 can become more effective pedagogically using the revised taxonomy, allowing it to aggressively promote the creativity required for the engineering profession to tackle the enormous challenges of the 21rst century.

Introduction and Overview We live in an era with unprecedented changes due to dramatic advances in technology on many fronts. The explosive growth in computing and communication has revolutionized the way we work and live. Increasingly, the engineering work force requires that teams work with global foci. This is particularly the case for the field of civil engineering with dilemmas associ- ated with population changes, natural disasters, and global forces. These forces of globalization, demographics, and technological advances are changing the role of engineering in society (Dud- erstadt, 2008), calling for changes in the way universities address the engineering profession and education. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed a Body of Knowl- edge (BOK version 2) in an effort to respond to the changing needs of educating engineers to meet societal challenges. This paper responds to the ASCE’s BOK2 and is guided by the follow- ing conceptual question: How we can the recently released ASCE Body of Knowledge 2 (BOK2) be effectively utilized to improve engineering education? Our primary objective for this paper is to review and analyze ASCE BOK2 from the points of view of educational psychology and en- gineering education and to suggest interpretations ad revisions to the BOK2 to facilitate its im- plementation in engineering schools. Accordingly, we utilize the frame of Anderson and Krath- wohl’s (2001) learning taxonomy to guide us in these efforts.


Bardet, J., & Ragusa, G. (2009, June), Analysis Of Body Of Knowledge In Civil Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5778

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