Curriculum synthesis and amelioration : a case study of undergraduate civil engineering Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bk128d70f

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  • The dynamic philosophy of education as applied to the undergraduate Civil Engineering program has been influenced by such factors as the introduction of new theories, the demands and needs of our society and the personnel responsible for teaching. These changes are reflected in the curriculum as witnessed by a historical development leading to the philosophy of the past two decades during which time significant emphasis has been placed on an increased scientific base in undergraduate education. To evaluate this shift and its effect on the educational product, a total of 464 questionnaires were mailed to various private and governmental agencies, and the industry representative was asked to randomly select a respondent with the only limitation being a Civil Engineering graduate of preferably five years or less. A response of 78.7 percent of all the questionnaires mailed was received with the graduates identifying their major work responsibility as either design oriented, management, construction or research. The survey form contained a series of questions developed from two given statements relative to the current philosophy upon which the curriculum is based and also the role of the professor with emphasis on research and teacher preparation. To analyze the input data, a t-Test statistic was derived so that each responsibility composite profile could be tested against the total response. A similar analysis was made for the graduates based on government or private industry employment. In addition, the questionnaire was designed to provide data so that an undergraduate curriculum could be constructed from a mathematical model using the number of semester units per academic subject area as the parameters. A computer program was written to evaluate the subject unit distribution matrix, assuming a curriculum which consisted of 130 units, for the total response and for each of the four work responsibility divisions. These values were compared to a typical curriculum computed from the programs offered by fifty ECPD accredited universities and colleges across the United States. The findings of this study showed that a majority, 81.9 percent of the total response, favored redirecting the primary educational goal of the undergraduate Civil Engineering program to insure adequate exposure to the art of engineering. Likewise, the graduates expressed concern over the lack of student involvement in the engineering program during the first two years of study, improving the quality of teaching and felt a need for additional student-faculty exchange and contact outside the formal classroom activities. Relative to the role of research and its implications to effective teachings the response indicated that practical experience would be more relevant to teaching. In addition the data further revealed that academic advancement should not be so closely dependent upon the research efforts of the professor. The curriculum developed yielded a redistribution of 14 units, equivalent to 10.8 percent of the total units, with the largest increase devoted to additional study in the area of engineering analysis and design.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using ScandAll PRO 1.8.1 on a Fi-6770A in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 5.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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