June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Educational Research and Methods
22.687.1 - 22.687.15
Exploring the Flexibility of the Engineering Curriculum through the Use of the MIDFIELD Database The Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering LongitudinalDevelopment (MIDFIELD) contains academic records for students at 10 partner institutionscomprising over 10% of United States engineering students. Using department graduationrequirements for each ABET EAC-accredited MIDFIELD program and more than 128,000engineering students, we have constructed a set of checkpoints within the database to yieldinformation on student curriculum progression by semester to address the following concerns:first, the overall completeness of the average engineering student’s curriculum; second, how toestablish a metric for the degree of flexibility within engineering disciplines and engineering as awhole; third, difference between student groups based on gender, matriculation status, major, andothers factors; and fourth, the issues and decisions involved in creating a binary tree progressiondiagram from raw student data provided by multiple institutions. These findings provideinformation to further the conversation on assessing engineering progression and success. The preliminary results from analyses of semester completion binary diagrams havegenerated further questions that are addressed in this paper. Although many students have notcompleted all of their first and second year courses at their institutions due to transfer and APcredits, it was surprising that significant numbers of students have incomplete sets of fourth,fifth, sixth, and seventh semester courses. Also, we hope to glean insight into which courses areroutinely skipped and profiles of the students who skip them on the path toward completing adegree. The expected analyses to be performed on “incomplete” student curriculum sets willinclude: in-depth studies of individual students to generate quantitative and qualitative argumentsfor curriculum incompleteness; decision tree analysis; logistic or probabilistic modelconstruction; basic, agent, or rule-based modeling to construct a null hypothesis; andcomparisons to other assessment metrics. As a whole, this work both explores a new approach tomodeling curricular pathways and provides new evidence regarding the flexibility of engineeringcurricula.
Ricco, G. D., & Ohland, M. W. (2011, June), Exploring Curriculum Flexibility and Compliance through the Use of a Metric for Curricular Progression Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17968
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