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Comparison Between Grade Earned In A Course And Performance In A Simulated Fe Exam For Mechanics Related Courses

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Accreditation and Assessment Concerns in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

13.311.1 - 13.311.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4459

Download Count

49

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Paper Authors

biography

Nirmala Gnanapragasam Seattle University

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Nirmala Gnanapragasam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Seattle University. She is a geotechnical engineer and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. She is the design coordinator of the senior capstone design program in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, is active in consulting, in engineering education research, and in K-12 math education.

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biography

Katie Kuder Seattle University

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Prof. Kuder is Assistant Professor at Seattle University in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Eng. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her interests include technical writing, mechanics education and creating opportunities for undergraduate research, as well as conducting research about cement-based composites.

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Dragovich Jefferey Seattle University

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Prof. Jeff Dragovich is Assistant Professor at Seattle University in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Eng. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his academic position at Seattle University, he worked as a structural engineer and is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in the State of Washington. His research interests include earthquake engineering, structural analysis methods, engineering education, and is active in consulting.

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

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.

Introduction

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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