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Investigating gaps in higher civil engineering education regarding students’ level of knowledge and understanding of basic structural concepts

Tsechelidou, Eleni


Eleni Tsechelidou


A key issue for young graduates of civil engineering is their ability to obtain the necessary knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of civil engineering, which are necessary to work with success in real projects. The literature review indicates that there are some gaps between the understanding of civil engineering concepts provided to students studying at higher education institutes and the kind of understanding of these concepts that the workplace reality needs.
The research data is collected from students studying a civil engineering course in Greek and Scottish universities through a questionnaire that contains two different sections. The first section investigates students’ knowledge level and the second section their understanding level of specific structural concepts.
Research data analysis is carried out based on the average percentage values but also on the highest and lowest percentage values in each of the following 4 categories in each of the universities tested; the categories on which data analysis is carried out are: ‘Good Knowledge – Good Understanding,’ ‘No Knowledge – No Understanding,’ ‘Lack of Knowledge’ and ‘Lack of Understanding.’ Moreover, a comparison between all universities tested in this research is presented by following the same procedure.
The outcome of the research indicates that the number of students in all universities tested that appear to have a problem in either knowledge or understanding or both of the structural concepts addressed in the questionnaire is quite high. On the other hand, the number of students that have a good level of knowledge and understanding of the structural concepts is low enough to allow further investigation in order to formulate new proposals for the improvement of civil engineering education.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 30, 2013
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Gaps; civil engineering education; knowledge and understanding;
Public URL
Contract Date May 30, 2013
Award Date 2013-01


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