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Development Of A Knowledge Based System For Advising Freshmen Engineering Students

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.145.1 - 2.145.4



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S. Keith Hargrove

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

Session 3553

Development of a Knowledge Based System for Advising Freshmen Engineering Students S. Keith Hargrove Tuskegee University College of Engineering, Architecture & Physical Sciences

INTRODUCTION One of the greatest challenges faced by engineering faculty is balancing effective teaching, research, and service with time. Faculty are also responsible for advising students to register for courses in the curriculum and other developmental matters. Probably the most neglected area in engineering education is advising, and research indicates that advising can influence student retention (1). Effective advising consists of providing current information, good listening and communication skills, and good counseling skills.

However, many of the questions they confront by Freshmen engineering students about registration are routine and redundant. If a majority of the entering students have the same educational background, they essentially will register for the same group of courses their Freshmen semester or term. Accessibility can be a problem due to schedule conflicts between faculty and students to obtain advise about course registration. An alternative approach may be computer-assisted registration and advising.

Many universities are using computers to enhance registration through student- independent processes (2). Engineering students typically see their advisor first, and then register at a networked terminal. To further address the problems of accessibility and redundancy, universities may also include computer-assisted advising. Computer-assisted advising provides distinct advantages over the traditional method of advising. These advantages include convenience, availability, accessibility, and accurate information. This paper discusses the development of a computer-aided system for advising Freshmen engineering students. The prototype is currently being tested, and a later paper will address the results of implementation.

DESIGN OF THE KNOWLEDGE BASED SYSTEM A knowledge based system/expert system is a computer software tool (program) used to assist human decision making, and most are developed on a PC with the aid of a shell (3). It contains knowledge or experience of a particular domain, and will provide responses to questions based on that knowledge or facts.

Facts are contained in "rules" for the knowledge base, and is the main body of the software program. A rule is essentially a IF/THEN clause. The IF portion of the rule is

Hargrove, S. K. (1997, June), Development Of A Knowledge Based System For Advising Freshmen Engineering Students Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6507

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