Asee peer logo

Changes In Student Confidence Resulting From Instruction With Modules On Ec 2000 Skills

Download Paper |


2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.288.1 - 7.288.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Harold Stern

author page

Robert Leland

author page

Russ Pimmel

Download Paper |

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

Main Menu

Session Number 2793

Changes in Student Confidence Resulting from Instruction with Modules on EC 2000 Skills

Russell Pimmel, Robert Leland, and Harold Stern Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Alabama Abstract

EC 2000 requires that engineering programs demonstrate that their graduates have acquired the set of skills identified in Criteria 3 (a)-(k). Because of a scarcity of instructional material on many of these topics, a team of engineering faculty members developed a set of short modules for teaching several of them. The modules, which contain learning objectives, a justification, student exercises and assignments, and an instructor’s guide, require three 50-minute class periods and can be integrated into a standard engineering course. We tested each module in a classroom setting with a diverse group of engineering students. Using before and after module surveys, the students indicated their agreement with statements concerning their confidence in their ability to do specific tasks derived from the module’s learning objectives using a five-point scale (1 for “Strongly Disagree” to 5 for “Strongly Agree”). We also obtained analogous data with a control group not involved in the instruction. In 13 of the 15 modules, the data showed an improvement in the students’ confidence to perform these tasks as a result of the instruction. The average improvement was approximately 0.50, indicating that, on the average, one-half of the students indicated an increase in their confidence to do these tasks.


The EC 2000 criteria require that engineering curricula teach the set of skills defined in Criterion 3 (a) – (k) 1. This includes the traditional knowledge of the discipline (i.e., the content) along with the processes needed to use the content (i.e., the processing skills). Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have learned the traditional skills (e. g., design, problem solving, and computational skills) and nontraditional skills (e. g., communication, ethics, and lifelong learning skills). Learning these processing skills requires that a student acquire an awareness of the process (knowledge), experience with the process (ability), and judgment in using the process (expertness). For example, design skill involves knowledge, ability, and expertness in the design process.

Students do not learn processing skills merely by observing the instructor using them, by watching other students use them, or by using them repeatedly in homework assignments without feedback2. Since interactive skills cannot be learned by observation, instructors must explicitly teach them and provide considerable supervised practice in their use 3. In discussing the teaching of engineering ethics, Pfatteicher4 suggested that instruction must be provided to all students, appear more than once in the curriculum, allow sufficient time for reflection, and be integrated with technical courses. It is natural to extend these constraints to the teaching of all skills.

Proceeding of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

Main Menu

Stern, H., & Leland, R., & Pimmel, R. (2002, June), Changes In Student Confidence Resulting From Instruction With Modules On Ec 2000 Skills Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10073

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2002 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015