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Educational Materials Development and Assessment for Engineering History and Heritage

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Going Viral: Effective Instructional Techniques in an Online Environment

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.496.1 - 25.496.11



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Paper Authors


Norb Delatte Cleveland State University Orcid 16x16

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Norbert J. Delatte, Jr., P.E., F.ACI, F.ASCE, is professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cleveland State University. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from the Citadel in 1984, a master's degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from The University of Texas, Austin in 1996.

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Educational Materials Development and Assessment for Engineering History and Heritage University undergraduate engineering programs have technical components as well asgeneral education and liberal arts components. Often, the various components are not integratedwell, and students may not see the relationships between technology and history. On the otherhand, non-engineering students very rarely take engineering courses, and thus may graduate withvery limited understanding of engineering and technology and their roles in society. At Cleveland State University (CSU), a course entitled ESC 200 Engineering History andHeritage has been developed to allow students to investigate the development of technology incivil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering in the context of historical case studies.The course is a requirement of the recently revised ABET accredited Bachelor of CivilEngineering (BCE) degree program, and was first offered in the spring 2011 semester. Althoughthe course has no prerequisites and is open to any student at the University, only civilengineering students took it during the first offering. The course is scheduled in the secondsemester of the second (sophomore) year of the four year BCE curriculum. The course used two books by David Billington at Princeton University as texts, TheInnovators: The Engineering Pioneers Who Made America Modern and Power, Speed, andForm: Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century. The course was developed to meet the challenge of addressing principles that are vitallyimportant to the professional practice of engineering, but are often difficult to incorporate in thecurriculum. The course description states that the course “Examines how constraints andconsiderations such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety,manufacturability, and sustainability influence engineering practice. How professional andethical responsibility affect engineering. Places the impact of engineering solutions in a global,economic, environmental, and societal context.” In some respects the course title is a misnomer. Rather than teaching engineering historyper se, the course teaches engineering through history. Specifically, the course was designed tohelp document that the CSU BCE students had achieved specific ABET EngineeringAccreditation Commission (ABET EAC) learning outcomes, which are: (c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability (e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility (h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context (i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning (j) a knowledge of contemporary issues (ABET EAC 2011) In addition, civil engineering programs have to meet program specific criteria. Civilengineering students have to be able to explain basic concepts in management, business, publicpolicy, and leadership; and explain the importance of professional licensure. Assessment resultsfrom the spring 2011 course offering are presented and analyzed.

Delatte, N. (2012, June), Educational Materials Development and Assessment for Engineering History and Heritage Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21254

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