June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Educational Research and Methods
24.344.1 - 24.344.12
Curricular Eﬃciency: What Role Does It Play In Student Success? Abstract In this paper we consider how engineering curricula may be “streamlined” in order toaddress a measure we refer to as curricular eﬃciency. We then demonstrate how curriculareﬃciency correlates to student academic success—in particular, the eﬀect it has on improvedgraduation rates, and the number of credit hours accumulated while pursing a degree. Inthis work, the degree plan for a curriculum is represented as a directed graph, with eachclass as an individual node, and co/prerequisites as edges between them. Graph-theoreticmetrics are then developed and applied to engineering degree plans at a number of publicfour-year institutions. In addition, student success data at the class level is adapted to createa weighted directed graph from which a cumulative curricular eﬃciency metric is obtained.One use for this metric is to provide a tool for evaluating curricular features and the abilityto compare these to programs at other universities in order to guide possible curricularchanges. Computer code was developed to support this eﬀort and has been adapted to pullinformation directly from the University of New Mexico degree plans website in order toautomatically generate curricula graphs and compute relevant metrics. We discuss caseswhere universities have improved curricular eﬃciency, addressing the challenges that werefaced, and the resulting completion statistics.
Wigdahl, J., & Heileman, G. L., & Slim, A., & Abdallah, C. T. (2014, June), Curricular Efficiency: What Role Does It Play in Student Success? Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20235
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