College of Engineering

Sengupta and Colleagues Awarded NSF-TUES Grant for Development and Testing of a Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering Concept Inventory

CEN faculty member Sukalyan Sengupta is the lead PI of a collaborative project (with University of South Florida - Tampa, University of Utah - Salt Lake City, & Purdue University) funded by NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES) program.  The total funding amount is $199,309 for a duration of 24 months; UMass Dartmouth budget is $72,780.  This project will develop and validate a Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering Concept Inventory (FEECI) that will be used as an assessment instrument.  Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering (FEE) is a core course in programs offering a BS in Civil and/or Environmental Engineering.  The FEECI will be developed as a multiple-choice test that emphasizes conceptual understanding of environmental engineering fundamentals as opposed to rote problem solving. Incorrect answers, or distractors, will be used to capture common student misconceptions. Such an assessment instrument does not currently exist for FEE.  The FEECI will be modeled after the Force Concept Inventory developed by Hestenes et al. for Newtonian mechanics, which has been emulated for similar CIs in statics, dynamics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, signals & systems, etc. FEECI development will begin with a Delphi survey of experts, who will determine concepts most critical for students taking FEE.  The Delphi method is a systematic, interactive forecasting method that relies on a team of experts, which will be composed of faculty members from 10 U.S. universities (the FEECI Development Team) who have taught this course for many years.  A similar list will be generated through discussions and interviews with groups of students from USF, UU, and UMD who have taken this course.  The combined input from the Delphi and student groups will be used to develop the concept inventory and exam.  The FEECI will be administered at the ten FEECI Development Team campuses in year 2 and the results will be statistically analyzed to confirm validity and reliability.  

Author: "Sukalyan Sengupta [Contact]"
Date: 13-9-2011

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