June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.502.1 - 13.502.11
Engineering Economy Assessment of Baylor’s Pilot Global Business Communication Course
Since 2001, faculty members and students in Baylor University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) have developed and participated in focused summer-abroad programs. These programs have matured from stand-alone courses to integrated experiences including global and cultural aspects and also business, economic and communication content. The benefits to and satisfaction of the students is significant. Most recently, around ten engineering and computer science students, and ten Baylor business students, participated each year. The six credits substitute for two courses of existing degree requirements. The specific course substitutions for ECS students depend on the student’s major.
The level of faculty/staff effort and student expense to coordinate the summer abroad experience is extensive. Students who participate bear much of the additional financial burden associated with the program. For these reasons, it is not practical for a high percentage of ECS students to participate. Yet because the benefits of participating are great, it is desirable make them available to more Baylor ECS students. Therefore, an on-campus companion course sequence with similar learning objectives was conceived that can reach a greater numbers of students. A pilot version of the course, Global Business Communication (GBC), was offered for the first time during fall 2006. The second course in the sequence, Technology Entrepreneurship, is a new course offered through Baylor’s Business School, in which adequately prepared business students may also enroll.
Like the abroad course, the on-campus GBC course must substitute for existing courses in the ECS curriculum. Engineering Economic Analysis is one of the possible course substitutions. Baylor engineering seniors perform on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam at a near 100% pass rate. Because of the prominence of engineering economy on this exam, the ECS faculty determined that the GBC course, in combination with the follow-on Technology Entrepreneurship course, should yield student outcomes at a level similar to the existing engineering economy course. This is a particularly challenging charge since the courses also cover global, communication, and entrepreneurship topics.
The performance of students enrolled in the first pilot offering of the GBC course, and a traditional engineering economy course offered the same semester, were compared. The assessment consisted of a comparison of the students’ academic preparation, and pre- and post- test covering engineering economy topics. There was no statistical difference between the two student populations. Students who enrolled in the traditional engineering economy course performed at a higher level than students in the GBC course, including when test questions were weighted for applicability toward FE exam-type problems.
The second pilot offering of the GBC course occurred during the fall 2007 term. Several changes were made to increase students’ engineering economy capabilities.
Kelley, B., & Doty, R., & booth, B., & Fry, C. (2008, June), Engineering Economy Assessment Of Baylor's Pilot Global Business Communication Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4323
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