June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
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National Trends in the Civil Engineering Major Design Experience: Part DeuxCivil Engineering Programs applying for accreditation by the Engineering AccreditationCommission (EAC) of ABET, Inc. are required to describe their major design experience thatprepares students for professional practice. What is a major design experience and how isstudent performance evaluated? This paper presents the results of a survey of Civil EngineeringDepartments across the U.S. to further define the major design experiences that exist. The initialsurvey results (XXX et.al, 2012) identified the common length of design experiences, types ofprojects, team or individual requirements, multidisciplinary characteristics, gradingmethodologies, and professional skills instruction provided during the design experience.After analyzing those results, a number of new questions surfaced which would provide clearerinsight into the nuances of the many forms of major design experiences that currently exist.Additional questions to be investigated include: Is your program ABET accredited? If so, whenis your next ABET visit? When did you begin your capstone/major design experience? Why didyou begin a major design experience, e.g. Was it to assess student outcomes; an ABETdriven/required major design; to be included as part of a multi-disciplinary experience; theprogram always had one - so not sure; to provide a team building experience; a desire to include:professional skills - leadership, communication, ethics, business practices, public policy, globaland contemporary issues, advisory board/industry/alumni/ employer input? Do you have varyingcapstone design experiences for each Civil Engineering sub-discipline? Do you increase themajor design project requirements for larger team sizes? What is the typical enrollment in thecourse and how many faculty support the major design experience? Do faculty members act asconsultants? What are the credit hour totals for the major design experience and how are theyallocated? Do you use grading rubrics - and if so, how and/or what is assessed?Analysis of the survey results also highlighted the need for more in-depth questions in areasaddressed by the original survey. Original questions modified to provide a clearer picture of aprogram’s major design experience include: What do you teach within the major designexperience course and what you assess? What is the number of expected hours per week perstudent and how do you track it? How is team versus individual work assessed? What is multi-disciplinary, i.e., how do you define your student's experience to be multi-disciplinary? Areindustry mentors used, and if so, how many mentors per team? What evaluation methods areused - including point allocation for technical, professional skills, foundational, communication,etc.?This paper does not evaluate or assess the effectiveness of any one method. Rather, in aggregateform the results offer a comprehensive look at current practices employed by civil engineeringprograms related to the major design experience.XXX, National Trends in the Civil Engineering Major Design Experience, 2012 ASEE Annual Conference,San Antonio, TX.
Nilsson, T. L., & Hall, K. D., & Welch, R. W. (2013, June), National Trends in the Civil Engineering Major Design Experience: Part Deux Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22307
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