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Assessing Students’ Prior Knowledge and Learning in an Engineering Management Course for Civil Engineers

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Simon Thomas Ghanat P.E. The Citadel

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Dr. Simon Ghanat is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel (Charleston, S.C.). He received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University. His research interests are in Engineering Education and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. He previously taught at Bucknell University and Arizona State University.

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William J. Davis P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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William J. Davis is Dept. Head & D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Construction Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. His academic experience includes: transportation infrastructure planning and design, infrastructure resilience, traffic operations, highway safety, and geographic information systems. His research interests include: constructing spatial databases for better management of transportation infrastructure, improving transportation design, operation, safety and construction, understanding long-term effects of urban development patterns, and advancing active living within the built environment for improved public health. He teaches courses in interchange design, transportation engineering, highway design. engineering management, geographic information systems, and land surveying. He has served in numerous leadership positions in ITE, ASCE and TRB.

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As a requirement for graduation, Civil Engineering majors at The Citadel must take an engineering management course during their junior year. The course focuses on application of management skills, methods, and techniques used to effectively perform engineering, design, and construction projects, from a business perspective. Objectives of this study were (1) to assess the students’ prior exposure to engineering management topics; and (2) to assess student learning as a result of various pedagogies employed though course instruction. A pre- and post-test was developed based on key concepts in engineering management and used to assess the knowledge gained in the course. The pre-tests were administered over three semesters (n = 70) to measure students’ prior engineering management knowledge and to identify student misconceptions at the beginning of each semester. The post-tests were administered on the last day of the semester to assess knowledge gained as a result of the course experience. Statistical analyses were performed and results revealed that students gained a measurable understanding of foundational concepts in engineering management. Additionally, post-test results were compared with embedded indicator data used in department assessment of student outcomes to provide a broader view of student performance.

Ghanat, S. T., & Davis, W. J. (2019, June), Assessing Students’ Prior Knowledge and Learning in an Engineering Management Course for Civil Engineers Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32118

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