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Assessing The Connectivity Of An Electrical And Computer Engineering Curriculum

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ECE Pedagogy and Assessment

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.245.1 - 11.245.11



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Paper Authors


Joni Spurlin North Carolina State University

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Joni E. Spurlin is University Director of Assessment and Associate Director, University Planning and Analysis at North Carolina State University.

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Hatice Ozturk North Carolina State University

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Hatice O. Ozturk is Teaching Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University. She is also coordinator of assessment for both programs.

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

Assessing the connectivity of an Electrical and Computer Engineering Curriculum


Program level assessment is done by combining the contributions from several units within the program at designated time intervals. Course level assessment is one of those units and is usually done within a course using tests, homework, projects, presentations etc. without looking at the connected courses and their learning outcomes. Although course level assessment uses most of the resources under assessment and is considered an essential feedback path in making the curricular changes, very little effort has been devoted to reliable measures of student learning as they go through a sequence of connected courses. This study focuses on assessment across the Electrical and Computer Engineering curriculum in the signals and systems area and looks into what has been retained from the core knowledge.


Faculty members who serve on course and curriculum committees are quite familiar with the complaints of the instructors who teach lower level undergraduate courses. The most common one being: “students don’t have the prerequisite knowledge!” given after the proper acknowledgement of the instructor who taught the prerequisite course. This feedback usually lacks any quantitative measure but spreads like wildfire and soon enough finds its way to the agenda of the course and curriculum committee. At that point, coordinator of assessment makes a simple request that evidence is needed before any actions are taken about the problem.

Engineering programs have gone through transformations after EC2000, designed processes which would facilitate the continuous improvements of their programs and placed the curriculum at the center of their operations. Electrical and Computer Engineering department at North Carolina State University was one of the leaders of this movement and adopted a two tier curriculum after a year of intense work involving all of its constituents. The contributions of courses in the ECE department to the ABET program outcomes are shown in Figure 1. with

Spurlin, J., & Ozturk, H. (2006, June), Assessing The Connectivity Of An Electrical And Computer Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--560

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