This paper presents the results of a project, which investigated the potential of fully using previously unreleased data from the nationally normed Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination to assess learning in key engineering and science topics. In the past, very limited information was released by the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) for the eight hour FE examination, which is composed of 150-200 questions in ten morning and five afternoon topics. For the purposes of this project the NCEES agreed to release information to the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) to permit the value of the FE data in describing UMR student learning in key engineering and science topics to be assessed. The analysis of the FE data was undertaken in the period 1993-1996 for students in twelve engineering disciplines at UMR. The overall conclusion of the project is that the enhanced level of data released from the FE by NCEES is of value to individual programs, schools and institutions in assessing student learning and in identifying areas of concern. However, the overall value of this information is compromised by variable student motivation and the confidentiality of the questions used in the exam. Other conclusions are that UMR student scores are below faculty expectations, that the FE exam is not equally applicable to all engineering disciplines, and that the academic level of the exam maybe lower than faculty thought.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Publication Date

01 Jan 1998

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Metallurgy Commons