June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.311.1 - 13.311.15
Comparison between Grade Earned in a Course and Performance in a simulated FE examination for Mechanics Related Courses Abstract
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination is one of several assessment tools in place at universities to demonstrate some of the learning outcomes. Seattle University requires that all civil engineering graduates take the FE examination prior to graduation but does not require they pass it. Lack of student motivation to pass the examination and not knowing the questions in the FE examination may impact the assessment process. Therefore, four years ago, in 2004, the department instituted a “comprehensive examination” which simulates the FE examination. Seniors are required to take two, two-hour long comprehensive examinations, one in the fall quarter and the other in the winter quarter. The questions are purchased from an external source. The fall and winter quarter examinations simulate the morning and the afternoon portion of the FE examination, respectively. The examinations count 20% towards their final grade in the capstone design course. This paper summarizes the results compiled for the past four years for mechanics based courses. Student grades earned in specific courses are compared against their performance in related topics in the comprehensive examination. Results show that the overall student GPA in mechanics courses correlates with comprehensive examination performance. However, there is poor correlation between student performance in specific subjects and corresponding student grades. The FE pass rates of Seattle University civil engineering students have been higher than the national pass rates since the implementation of the comprehensive examination. However, more years of data is necessary to support the latter conclusion.
ABET 2000 Criterion 3 requires that all engineering graduates demonstrate eleven program outcomes referred to as the “a-k program outcomes”. In late 2005 the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Second Edition of the Body of Knowledge Committee came up with a list of 15 outcomes. The commonality between both criteria is that engineering graduates demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge of math, science and engineering principles and ability to formulate and solve engineering problems. Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, administered by National council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), as the only nationally normed examination that addresses specific engineering topics has been a valuable tool to demonstrate these outcomes.
Seattle University requires that all civil engineering graduates take the FE examination prior to graduation. But it does not require that they pass it to graduate. Therefore the department felt that it may not be a suitable assessment tool to demonstrate the above mentioned outcomes due to the lack of motivation
Gnanapragasam, N., & Kuder, K., & Jefferey, D. (2008, June), Comparison Between Grade Earned In A Course And Performance In A Simulated Fe Exam For Mechanics Related Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4459
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