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Mapping the Curriculum Around Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment of Learning

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Assessment in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.884.1 - 24.884.9



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Paper Authors


Ihab Mohammad Hamdi Saad P.E. Northern Kentucky University

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Dr. Ihab Saad is Department Chair and Professor of Construction Management and an alumnus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he received his Ph.D. in 1996 from the department of Civil Engineering and Construction. He has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry primarily in the civil/construction project management area.

Dr. Saad received his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Cairo University in his native country Egypt in 1984, and 1993 respectively, in addition to a higher diploma in construction project management (equivalent to another M.Sc. from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt). He has worked for a top 10 worldwide project management firm, and offered training in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, in addition to the United States.

He has taught at his Alma Mater, the University of Kentucky, in addition to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and most recently at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was voted “Faculty of the Year” by construction science students in June 2011.

His work experience includes roles as a field engineer, cost engineer, senior scheduler, and project manager. His research interests include project sustainability, innovative project delivery systems, multimedia applications in project documentation, and construction organizations’ behavior and lessons learned. He has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences.

Dr. Saad is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a registered Professional Engineer in Egypt and Qatar. He has received university and national teaching awards and coached several 1st place winning teams in national and regional construction competitions.

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Mapping the Curriculum around Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment of LearningAbstractThis paper addresses efforts by a Construction Management Department to map its curriculum inresponse to the new ACCE accreditation format focusing on the student and program learning outcomes.The process revolves around providing an answer to four questions: Are we teaching our students theright thing? Are they grasping the concepts? How do we measure their learning? How do we documentthe measurements and continue improving? The answers to these four questions provide the platform forcurriculum mapping and efforts leading to continuous improvement.The impetus for mapping the construction management curriculum stemmed from multiple coincidingfactors including a progressively evolving body of knowledge, a constant increase in project complexity,an increasingly competitive market working in sub-optimal economic conditions, and a demand foracademic reform to produce graduates ready for the job market. The economic downturn and thefollowing recession in 2008 resulted in a slow-down of construction activities on both the regional andthe national, and to a certain extent the international levels, which had a direct impact on the studentenrollment in construction management programs. Additional pressure from academia and the need tostreamline curricula and reduce the number of credit hours for a construction management degree (120semester hours in most institutions) led many programs to revise their curricula and look for ways tooptimize course design and frequency of offering.After several years of using a matrix of curriculum topical contents and number of hours of instruction,the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) started adopting a new model for programassessment and accreditation based on student learning outcomes (SLO). Instead of counting the numberof hours covering each of the curriculum topical contents, the focus shifts to what the students havelearned, what is the proper mechanism for gauging this learning, and how to document it.The mapping process followed the SIPOC model (Supplier – Input – Process – Output – Customer), andresulted in a set of documents called course assessment forms representing at the course level: what arethe pre-requisite courses and the pre-requisite knowledge needed for this class (supplier and input), whatare the learning objectives for this class (process), what are the learning outcomes (output) and what arethe following classes in the sequence (customers). A course flowchart representing a career plan wasdeveloped, and different mechanisms for documenting and measuring student learning are discussed.

Saad, I. M. H. (2014, June), Mapping the Curriculum Around Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment of Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22817

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