June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.417.1 - 15.417.17
Development of Core Concepts and Learning Outcomes for the Introductory Transportation Course
In June, 2009, over 60 members of the Transportation Engineering Education community met in Portland, OR to discuss teaching and learning related to transportation engineering. One of the motivations for the conference was to address challenges experienced by faculty teaching the “Introduction to Transportation Engineering” course offered at most institutions and required for the bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at many. An outcome of the conference is a working group that is planning a series of activities to develop a set of core concepts and learning outcomes for this introductory transportation course. The goal of this paper is to report on the status of this effort and to stimulate conversation related to learning outcomes in the variety of civil engineering sub-disciplines.
Building on existing literature, the group plans to identify and validate a set of key transportation concepts. Following best practices in course design, we will also develop a set of outcomes related to these concepts around which a course could be developed. Further, we expect to identify a minimum set of requirements that ought to be met by any introductory transportation course, as well as a larger set of outcomes and levels of achievement from which instructors would select to be consistent with departmental and institutional missions, and the expertise of the instructor.
This paper first summarizes the results of several surveys over time related to transportation course content. It then reviews other initiatives related to developing a set of disciplinary learning outcomes, including the ASCE Body of Knowledge, and discusses frameworks for organizing knowledge and learning outcomes. The paper continues with a description of the efforts of the working group, including some draft knowledge tables for selected transportation topics. Finally, the paper outlines the next steps in the process and proposes some assessment criteria for the effort.
Transportation engineers are required to plan, design, build, maintain, and operate our transportation system. To do this, transportation engineers need a broad background about different elements in this system. The breadth and complexity of the transportation system is one of the aspects that makes a career in transportation appealing, but it is also one of the largest challenges in educating the future transportation engineer.
Traditionally, most transportation engineers graduate from undergraduate programs in civil engineering. Within the undergraduate civil engineering curriculum, three-quarters of the programs require one or two transportation engineering courses to introduce civil engineering students to the profession by providing a broad background of the field1. Most often, students do not take these courses until the junior year of the program. Elective courses are then used to give students more depth into specific topics within transportation engineering. The challenge is how
Sanford Bernhardt, K., & Beyerlein, S., & Bill, A., & Nambisan, S., & van Schalkwyk, I., & Turochy, R., & Young, R. (2010, June), Development Of Core Concepts And Learning Outcomes For The Introductory Transportation Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16413
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