June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1393.1 - 24.1393.27
Work in Progress: An Innovative Introductory Structural Engineering CourseA new introductory structural engineering course has been developed at [institution]. The coursefollows Mechanics of Materials in the structures curriculum, where a traditional curriculummight typically provide a structural analysis course. While this course does introduce methodsof structural analysis, it does so in the context of structural materials (steel, reinforced concrete,and timber) and design so as to remove the unnatural distinction between analysis and design.In addition to the innovative design of the course, the grading of the course is also of note.Grades are not determined based on a typical “points” system. Instead, an outcomes-basedgrading scheme is used in which students must demonstrate mastery of specific concepts in orderto pass the class. Mastery of additional outcomes beyond these specific concepts leads to ahigher grade in the class. This grading scheme was adopted to help meet the following goals: 1. Creating a more holistic approach to teaching the material 2. Ensuring that core competencies for follow-on courses are met 3. Better defining the differences in grades based on student competency 4. Distinguishing content for general civil engineering students as compared to students with a structural engineering emphasis, and 5. Simplifying assessment for ABET and departmental purposes—passing the class indicates attainment by students of important curricular outcomes.The paper will provide the following: • A literature review of outcomes-based assessment in other contexts • A summary of the design and implementation of the course • An explanation of the outcomes-based grading scheme • Assessments from the first offering of the course using results of focus groups and student surveys • Plans for future assessment of the course goalsBy presenting this work in progress we hope to elicit feedback from participants on futuredirections for the course and evaluation methods to determine the extent to which the class meetsthe goals we have set.
Roberts, M. W., & Jones, A. M., & Thompson, M. K. (2014, June), Work in Progress: Using Outcomes-Based Assessment in an Introductory Structural Engineering Course Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23326
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