June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.232.1 - 13.232.12
Assessing the Impact of Failure Case Studies on the Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Curriculum: Phase II Abstract
This paper is the second in a series documenting work to assess the impact of the introduction of failure case studies into engineering mechanics and civil engineering courses. Results from surveys and focus groups of both students and faculty are presented, along with recommendations for improving assessment instruments and processes. The students enjoyed the case studies and believed that they contributed to learning the course material. The case studies stimulated their interest. Most faculty who had participated in the one-day case study workshop and who responded to the survey had made at least some use of the cases in their courses. All fourteen respondents that had used case studies believed that the benefits justified the cost.
Failure case studies may be used in engineering courses to address technical topics as well as non-technical topics, such as management, ethics, and professionalism. The authors have developed a number of failure case studies for classroom use. Pilot studies have been carried out over several semesters in order to assess the use of failure case studies in civil engineering and engineering mechanics courses. Prior results were presented at the 2007 ASEE annual meeting, and that paper provides much of the background behind the work.1
First, case study topics are linked to specific ABET general and civil engineering program criteria.2 3 Case study presentations and reading assignments have been developed to build student knowledge. Students are given specific homework and examination problems that require application of the case studies. ABET criterion 3 defines 11 program outcomes that all engineering programs must meet and document.
“Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain the following outcomes: (a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data (c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability (d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams (e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility (g) an ability to communicate effectively (h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context (i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (j) a knowledge of contemporary issues (k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.”2
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