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Improvements to an Electrical Engineering Skill Audit Exam to Improve Student Mastery of Core EE Concepts

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1 Author(s)
Parent, D.W. ; Electr. Eng. Dept., San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA, USA

The San José State University Electrical Engineering (EE) Department implemented a skill audit exam for graduating seniors in 1999 with the purpose of assessing the teaching and the students' mastery of core concepts in EE. However, consistent low scores for the first years in which the test was administered suggested that students had little incentive in reviewing for passing the test. To promote the concept that there is a set of basic skills every graduating senior should master, improvements were implemented that included creating an online exam used for review and requiring students to earn a 70% or higher score on an in-class exam that is a requirement for graduation. After the improvements were made, all students demonstrated at least 70% mastery of the core EE concepts as measured by the improved in-class skill audit exam. The details of these improvements are presented. Anonymous survey results of graduating seniors indicate that students feel that preparing for the skill audit exam was a good use of their time and that the exam should be made more rigorous for future students.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 2 )