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Measuring Undergraduate Student Design Self-Efficacy within an Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curriculum

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

It's All About the Student: Integration, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, and Self-Efficacy

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Mary Katherine Watson The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Mary Katherine Watson is currently an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel. Prior to joining the faculty at The Citadel, Dr. Watson earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. She also has BS and MS degrees in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. Dr. Watson’s research interests are in the areas of engineering education and biological waste treatment.

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William J. Davis P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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William J. Davis is Dept. Head & D. Graham Copeland Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Construction Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. His academic experience includes: transportation infrastructure planning and design, infrastructure resilience, traffic operations, highway safety, and geographic information systems. His research interests include: constructing spatial databases for better management of transportation infrastructure, improving transportation design, operation, safety and construction, understanding long-term effects of urban development patterns, and advancing active living within the built environment for improved public health. He teaches courses in interchange design, transportation engineering, highway design. engineering management, geographic information systems, and land surveying. He has served in numerous leadership positions in ITE, ASCE and TRB.

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Timothy W. Mays The Citadel

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Timothy Wayne Mays, Ph.D., P.E. is a Professor of Civil Engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Dr. Mays recently served as Executive Director of the Structural Engineers Associations of South Carolina and North Carolina. He currently serves as NCSEA Publications Committee Chairman. He has received three national teaching awards (ASCE, NSPE, and NCSEA) and both national (NSF) and regional (ASEE) awards for outstanding research. He is the recipient of the 2009 NCSEA Service Award. His areas of expertise are code applications, structural design, seismic design, steel connections, structural dynamics, and civil engineering aspects of antiterrorism.

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Ronald W. Welch P.E. The Citadel

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Ron Welch (P.E.) received his B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics from the United States Military Academy in 1982. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1990 and 1999, respectively. He became the Dean of Engineering at The Citadel on 1 July 2011. Prior to his current position, he was the Department Head of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Tyler from Jan 2007 to June 2011 as well as served in the Corps of Engineers for over 24 years including eleven years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy.

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John C. Ryan The Citadel

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An integrated student outcome thread focused on development of civil engineering design skills was adopted and mapped across a series of 16 departmental courses extending from Freshman through Senior year in a Bachelor’s of Science curriculum. The design outcome thread encompasses instructional material from courses in 1) Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2) Dynamics, 3) Geomatics Lab, 4) Highway Engineering, 5) Mechanics of Materials, 6) Hydrology and Hydraulics, 7) Asphalt and Concrete Laboratory, 8) Measurements, Analysis and Modeling of Civil Engineering Systems, 9) Reinforced Concrete Design, 10) Geotechnical Engineering Lab, 11) Steel Design, 12) Water and Wastewater Systems, 13) Geotechnical Engineering II, 14) Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, 15,16) two-course sequence in Civil Engineering Capstone Design. An instrument to measure design self-efficacy was administered through a questionnaire that asks student to rate their degree of confidence across a series of design-oriented capabilities. The instrument was used across all four student classes to provide insight into student perceptions and belief in their capabilities to succeed in meeting the challenges of performing specific civil engineering design tasks. Results from analysis of this comparative data was used to guide faculty in assessing student learning outcomes, understanding student readiness, and identifying improvements for systematic implementation within the curriculum to enhance the learning environment and student preparation for successful careers in the civil engineering profession.

Watson, M. K., & Davis, W. J., & Mays, T. W., & Welch, R. W., & Ryan, J. C. (2019, June), Measuring Undergraduate Student Design Self-Efficacy within an Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33097

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