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Using concept inventories to gauge preparedness and assess learning objectives in engineering economy classes

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Economy Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

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Paper Authors


Isaac W Wait Marshall University

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Isaac W. Wait is an Associate Professor of Engineering in the Division of Engineering at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He conducts research and teaches courses in water resources and environmental engineering, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Ohio and West Virginia.

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Sameh M. El-Sayegh American University of Sharjah

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Dr. Sameh M. El-Sayegh is an Associate Professor in the department of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah. He holds a Ph.D. in Construction Engineering and Project Management from Texas A&M University, USA, and an M.S. in Construction Management from Texas A&M University, USA. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) since 2006. Prior to his academic career, he worked in the construction industry in Greece & Yemen with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and in the US with the Morganti Group Inc. His areas of research and teaching interest are construction & project management, project control and construction contracting. He published over forty research papers in international reputed project management journals and conferences. He was the Interim Head of the Civil Engineering department in 2012-13.

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Salwa Mamoun Beheiry The American University of Sharjah

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Salwa Mamoun Beheiry is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah (UAE). Her research interests revolve around sustainable infrastructure and capital project performance. She is also a recipient of various prestigious honours and awards throughout her academic and industrial career. Before starting her doctoral program at UT Austin, she worked with Independent Project Analysis Inc. in Ashburn, Virginia, as analyst/consultant. She obtained her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s of Science from the George Washington University and a First Class Honours Bachelors of Science from Reading University (UK).

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A ten-question, multiple-choice Concept Inventory was developed and administered to students at two universities: (1) students enrolled in a “Cost Analysis” course at an English-language, ABET-accredited Civil Engineering program outside of the United States, and (2) students enrolled in an “Engineering Economy” course utilized by students in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, along with computer science and safety technology, at a university in the United States. This paper describes the process that was utilized to identify which problem types and underlying concepts would be included in the inventory, includes an analysis and comparison of student performance on beginning-of-semester administrations of the inventory, and describes how administration of the inventory at the end-of-semester can be utilized for purposes of direct assessment of course objectives.

When administered at the beginning of a course, Concept Inventories can be used by instructors to gain insight about which ideas are already understood by how many students. By focusing on foundational concepts, such as compound interest, cash-flow diagrams, the time value of money, breakeven, cost indexing, and others, a Concept Inventory can identify what ideas students bring with them into the course, and which topics may need additional emphasis during the semester. Additionally, Concept Inventories allow for direct assessment of course objectives. When a Concept Inventory is administered at the beginning and then again at the end of a semester, it is possible to measure the improvement over time, and identify which subject areas may need additional emphasis or adjustment in presentation strategy in subsequent semesters.

Wait, I. W., & El-Sayegh, S. M., & Beheiry, S. M. (2017, June), Using concept inventories to gauge preparedness and assess learning objectives in engineering economy classes Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29073

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