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Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice

Archives Papers: 124
The American Society of Civil Engineers
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Factors Influencing Student Progression in Built Environment and Engineering Programs: Case of Central Queensland University
Xianbo Zhao,Josua Pienaar,
Abstracts:In higher education, progression should be conceptualized in multiple dimensions, rather than just the institutional statistical view. The objectives of this research are to identify the multiple domains of progression and examine the effects of variables influencing progression. To achieve these objectives, a questionnaire survey was performed with 218 students in built environment and engineering programs at Central Queensland University. The majority of these students use distance learning. This research proposes a concept of progression with four domains: subject, qualification, career, and professional progression. Also, 17 variables that influence progression were identified and categorized into three factors: information technology (IT) adoption, interaction, and personal pressure. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data, and the results indicated that personal pressure negatively influenced progression, while interaction contributed to progression. Although IT adoption did not directly influence progression, it positively influenced interaction and thus indirectly influenced progression. Finally, a framework was developed to describe interrelationships among the influential variables and progression. The implications drawn from the analysis results allow academic staff and university management to take actions to enhance student progression, which contribute to the practice. In addition, the method adopted in this research can be employed in other research of a similar nature. This study can significantly contribute to the literature relating to progression in higher education by proposing a more holistic concept of progression and identifying the interrelationship among the variables influencing progression.
Intelligent Sustainable Design: Integration of Carbon Accounting and Building Information Modeling
Sabrina Spatari,James Mitchell,Alex Ryberg,Jonathan Eboli,Alexander Stadel,
Safety Management in Construction: Best Practices in Hong Kong
Syed M. Ahmed,Dongping Fang,Rafiq M. Choudhry,
Abstracts:Safety issues have gained vital importance throughout the construction industry. Many construction companies around the world are implementing safety, health, and environmental management systems to reduce injuries, eliminate illness, and to provide a safe work environment in their construction sites. This paper describes an exploratory study of site safety management in construction sites’ environments. It explains a successful, modern safety, health and environmental management system for a leading construction company based in Hong Kong. A typical site-specific safety plan was utilized to provide safety guidance throughout the construction project. A safety management survey was conducted to determine the status of safety in the construction sites. All employees of the company and its subcontractors participated in the survey from 20 construction projects. In total, 1,022 valid records were obtained from the construction sites. The analysis provided useful information on eight aspects of construction safety, including safety policy and standards, safety organization, safety training, inspecting hazardous conditions, personal protection program, plant and equipment, safety promotion, and management behavior. The findings of the survey provide practical knowledge to construction project managers and construction safety practitioners in order to make their sites safer. Insights and discussions are given in this paper.
First 60 Years of the Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Matthew W. Roberts,Brock E. Barry,
Abstracts:The ASCEs’ Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice has reached 60 years of publication. Taking a detailed look at the content and authorship during that time period provides insights into the journal’s history and its progression. The authors of this article employed qualitative and quantitative investigation techniques to answer the single research question: “How has the journal changed since its inception?” Data were collected via semistructured interviews, database assimilation, and the review and evaluation of 1,573 articles. Findings generated during this study address publication rates, citation rates, article subject area trends, keyword usage, author affiliations, impact factor rankings, international collaborations, and scholarship standards. A significant number of conclusions are offered, but the primary conclusion is that the journal has increased its publication of high-quality scholarly research.
Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Soft Skills, Industry Expectations, and Career Aspirations
Issam Srour,Mona Itani,
Abstracts:Because of globalization and the rapid advancement of technology, researchers and employers agree that the 21st-century engineer must have a set of skills (e.g., teamwork, communication, and management) that were not emphasized in the past. In response, many universities have started to implement program changes in order to graduate well-rounded engineers. As an attempt to assess the gap between what universities are exposing their engineering students to and the requirements of the industry, this paper examines the perceptions of a sample of engineering students about the importance of various soft skills and how well their universities have prepared them in gaining the associated abilities. Students were also surveyed about their career aspirations in an attempt to determine whether these aspirations affect their perceptions. The results revealed that, although the students showed a significant understanding of the importance of soft skills, some of these perceptions can be attributed to their career aspirations. This finding implies that universities need to play a stronger role in strengthening students’ nontechnical skills in specific areas such as oral communication skills.
Initial Assessment of a Newly Launched Interdisciplinary Construction Engineering Management Graduate Program
Kenneth Wolf,Moatassem Abdallah,Heidi Brothers,Caroline M. Clevenger,
Abstracts:In the fall of 2014, the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) launched a new interdisciplinary graduate program in the Department of Civil Engineering. The mission of the Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) master’s program is to provide the skills necessary to prepare the next generation of construction engineers to be effective leaders and managers in the ever-evolving construction industry. Developing a new program provided unique opportunities. However, developing a truly interdisciplinary program in engineering meant that few models or templates existed. This research documents the preliminary curriculum outcomes and assessment, as well as lessons learned during program development. Specifically, after completion of the program’s first year, the faculty assessed student learning in the core curriculum, surveyed industry experts, and interviewed students to gather feedback on the program. A team of faculty and assessment experts met monthly to develop the program’s vision, learning objectives, curriculum, and assessment plan. This mixed-method research documents and presents implementation and preliminary outcomes. The primary take-aways include the following: academic preparation of students for professional practice in construction requires diverse, customizable, and interdisciplinary curricula; to accomplish such an objective, it is best to develop curriculum and assessment in parallel; faculty buy-in and commitment is critical; and program- and course-level coordination and iteration are essential. Although the opportunity to develop a new and original program is rare, today many universities are looking to develop innovative interdisciplinary programs. As a result, findings from this research are relevant and informative to engineering departments seeking to improve existing or develop innovative and interdisciplinary programs or curricula.
Transfer of Journal Editorship to Matthew Roberts
Norbert Delatte,
Engineering Education, Research, and Design: Breaking In and Out of Liminal Space
Andrew T. M. Phillips,
Abstracts:Forum papers are thought-provoking opinion pieces or essays founded in fact, sometimes containing speculation, on a civil engineering topic of general interest and relevance to the readership of the journal. The views expressed in this Forum article do not necessarily reflect the views of ASCE or the Editorial Board of the journal.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Dynamic Traffic Animations: Case Study in Transportation Engineering Education
Michael Kyte,Chelsea Nicholas,Shane Brown,
Abstracts:Development of learning tools is critical for improving engineering education and teaching difficult engineering concepts. Representations are learning tools that can help students understand conceptual systems by providing insight to a concept, problem, or system through explicit cues. Researchers at the University of Idaho have developed structured activities involving animations that are representations of traffic simulations designed as part of the Mobile Signal Timing Training (MOST) project for teaching traffic signal timing. In this study, the effectiveness of the MOST animations were evaluated through a pre-/postcomparative case study. Overall, the MOST animations were successful in improving student understanding of timing parameters involved in actuated control at signalized intersections. The MOST activities were more effective than comparison methods in facilitating student learning for concepts of minimum green time, maximum green time, and duration of the green indication. Students also showed an improved understanding of the relationship between cycle length and delay and passage time, but not more so than comparison students. Results indicate that animations are effective in improving student understanding of concepts involving dynamic processes or reactions.
Educational Prediction Markets: Construction Project Management Case Study
Kenneth Reinschmidt,Erin McTigue,Chyllis Scott,Vahid Faghihi,Ivan Damnjanovic,
Abstracts:Effective teaching of engineering concepts relies both on carefully designed lesson plans that meet specific learning outcomes and on classroom activities that students find engaging. Without student engagement, even the best designed plans will fail to meet their outcomes. In other words, students need to be actively involved in the learning process. The objective of this paper is to present a case study of applying a novel active learning method, specifically educational prediction markets (EPM), for teaching project management classes at a major research university. This method was investigated for its effectiveness in engaging students and promoting learning of probabilistic reasoning without explicit teaching. Student surveys, following the EPM implementation, revealed both advantages and disadvantages. The two key benefits reported by the students were: (1) providing better connections between the materials taught in the class and realities of construction projects; and (2) increasing overall interest and enthusiasm in learning about project risk management as a result of the gamelike nature of the process. The primary disadvantage was disengagement by a subset of students because of perceptions that fellow students were manipulating the market results.
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