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Correlation Between the Course Knowledge Survey Results and Student Performance in a Civil Engineering Course

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2022 ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference


Anderson, Indiana

Publication Date

April 9, 2022

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April 9, 2022

End Date

April 9, 2022

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Suresh Immanuel P.E. University of Evansville

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Suresh Immanuel is the Associate Dean in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Evansville. He is a professor of civil engineering and a licensed professional engineer. He holds a PhD degree from Auburn University and a Master of Science in Leadership degree from the University of Evansville. His research interests are in engineering education, pavement design and analysis, pavement management, and pavement instrumentation. At the University of Evansville, he teaches a variety of courses such as transportation engineering, soil mechanics, geotechnical engineering, advanced pavement design and management, construction management and surveying.

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A background knowledge probe (pre-test) and course knowledge survey (post-test) for an undergraduate level introductory civil engineering course (soil mechanics) was developed as a part of the multi institutional research study. The test questions were based on key concepts in soil mechanics to assess students’ prior exposure to soils and knowledge gained through the course. The pre-tests were administered on the first day of class to measure students’ prior knowledge on soil mechanics that was gained through other courses, internship and co-op experiences. The same short-answer test (post-test) was administered on the last day of the semester to assess the knowledge gained as a result of the course experience. This survey was administered to the undergraduate junior civil engineering students enrolled in the introductory soil mechanics course which is the first course in a two-course sequence that covers concepts and designs in geotechnical engineering at the XXXXXX during spring 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021. The data from 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021 which resulted in a total sample size of 52 over this study period. In this study, the post-test (course knowledge survey) results of students were compared to their final exam performance to see if the knowledge survey results have any correlation with the individual exam scores the students received in the comprehensive final exam. Efforts were also made to correlate the post-test performance average of the cohorts with their Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam performance in geotechnical engineering area. This paper discusses the context in which the test questions were developed, comparison of pre-and post-test results, correlations between the post-test results and individual student performance in exams and FE exam performance in the soil mechanics area.

Immanuel, S. (2022, April), Correlation Between the Course Knowledge Survey Results and Student Performance in a Civil Engineering Course Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference , Anderson, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--42128

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