New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
During the last quarter of the sophomore year, all students in the Departments of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the XXX take an assessment exam. The purpose of this exam is to measure the knowledge of these students in the fields of basic math and science, as well as sophomore year engineering courses, such as digital design, statics, circuits, and mechanics of materials.
The students take the exam as part of a zero-credit course and the exam is given in two parts on separate days. The exam problems are similar to Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) problems and students are only allowed to use the official FE Reference Handbook during the test. To pass the course students must score a combined average of 50% or better on both exams. If a student fails to reach this average on the exams, they are required to retake the course and obtain a passing score before they graduate. On average around 95% of students pass on the first attempt.
The results of the exam are used in the internal assessment process of both the MME and ECE Departments. The results of the exam allow faculty to observe how well the students understand the fundamental building blocks that they will later use in more complex engineering problems during their upperclassman years. The exam also provides a checkpoint to see how well they are prepared when taking the FE during their last year of study. And lastly, data from the exam allow for analysis of individual subjects and questions, allowing for exploration of how well students understand each subject tested, as well as individual topics.
Overall our faculty has found the sophomore exam to be a helpful tool in assessing both the knowledge of our students, as well as the effectiveness of some of our early engineering courses. The MME department also requires that all students take the FE exam to graduate, giving a set of assessment data at two different time points in their career as a student.
Roszelle, B. N., & Gordon, M., & Davidson, B. S., & Laz, P. J. (2016, June), Novel Sophomore Assessment Modeled after the F.E. Exam Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25803
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