The impact of reducing numerical methods and programming courses on undergraduate performance

Stephen Michael Morse, Audra N. Morse, Venkatesh Uddameri, Elma Annette Hernandez, David L. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Due to pressure from state legislatures reducing credit hour limits coupled with a required set of core courses, science and engineering discipline curricula have optimized and downsized the topics covered in degree programs2. Many secondary skills such as computer programming, numerical methods, finite elements, and stochastic analysis have been dropped completely from the curricula or minimally covered through the use of industry standard software. While these skills are not specific to a particular discipline the authors opine they constitute fundamental knowledge, similar to calculus, in which all engineers should have competence. This paper explores the effect of phasing out these secondary skills has on students perceived understanding and ability to apply them in upper level engineering courses and graduate courses. Assessment data regarding secondary skill competency from a freshman engineering analysis class and from a graduate numerical methods class is presented and discussed. The authors conclude with a series of strategies they intend to employ with assessments in future course offerings to help students learn these secondary skills without covering them in a formal course.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014

Conference

Conference121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
CountryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN
Period06/15/1406/18/14

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