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Retention Of Information Important Engineering Outcomes

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Conference

2005 Annual Conference

Location

Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in CE Education Poster Session

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

10.1082.1 - 10.1082.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/14606

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

author page

Peter Rojeski

author page

Cindy Waters

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Retention of Information – Improving the Engineering Outcomes

C.K. Waters1, P. Rojeski2 1 Mechanical Engineering, N.C. A. &T. State University, Greensboro, NC, 27411, 2 Civil and Architectural Engineering, N.C. A. &T. State University, Greensboro, NC, 27411

ABSTRACT

The educational outcomes for civil engineering require students to meet specific performance standards at the time of graduation. Courses involving these performance standards are taken several semesters prior to graduation; therefore the challenge is to encourage the students to maintain their proficiencies until their senior year and beyond. Maintaining those memories is an issue. Research in the field of memory demonstrates that how quickly and reliably students recall depends on; activation or how long since they last used the information and strength or how well they practiced it. Standard departmental practice dictates passing a Senior Exam similar to the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, and completing a Senior Design project. Data from several years of administering pre-tests of pre-requisite material clearly indicate that student retention declines rapidly over time. A researched technique for memory improvement is Preview, Question, Read, Self-Recitation and Test or “PQRST”. This technique pertains to our strategies. Our department has adopted two strategies to combat this loss of retention. The first strategy involves requiring students to pass an end-of-year exam that includes all completed subjects. Students failing the exam are required to enroll in a one credit review class. If they do not pass this class, they must transfer to a non-engineering major. End- of-year exams cover: mathematics, chemistry, ethics, computer programming, engineering economics, and eight engineering science subject areas. The second strategy involves maintaining student proficiencies in written, graphic and oral communication skills which are not included in the end-of-year exam. The department has developed standards to which the students must adhere in all classes throughout their tenure. Work not meeting the communication standards is returned for correction. The communication standards are distributed to each student in the form of a department handbook, and the standards take effect as soon as the student completes the associated course.

Introduction

Learning retention is well studied in education research (1, 2, 3). Memory can be described as the ability or capacity at which human being store and retrieve information. On the other hand, all educators must also be aware of how students forget? A traditional theory of forgetting that pertains directly to this investigation is that the memory trace simply decays or fades away, as researched by Woodworth and is shown in Figure 1 (2). Past engineering practice dictates passing a Senior Exam similar to the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, and completing a Senior Design project. Data from several years of administering pre-tests of pre- requisite material clearly indicate that student retention declines rapidly over time. Research by Spache and Berg (1978), and others have demonstrated that a simple study method significantly

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Rojeski, P., & Waters, C. (2005, June), Retention Of Information Important Engineering Outcomes Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14606

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