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Graph-theoretical approaches and tools for quantitatively assessing curricula coherence
Department of Engineering Cybernetics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4310-7938
Institute for Automation Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3953-4379
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2020 (English)In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we propose a method to analyse the coherence of existing curricula at higher education institution. We focus our attention to engineering programmes at universities but the proposed method is by no means restricted to those cases. In contrast to other known methods, our approach is quantitative, decentralised, and asynchronous and allows to analyse entire programmes (in contrast to single courses) and does not depend on using specific teaching methods or tools. We propose to perform this quantitative assessment in two steps: first, representing the university programme as an opportune graph with courses and concepts as nodes and connections between courses and concepts as edges; second, analysing the structure of the programme using methods from graph theory. We thus perform two investigations, both leveraging a practical case – data collected from three engineering programmes at two Swedish universities: (a) how to represent university programmes in terms of graphs (here called concepts-courses graph (CCG)) and (b) how to reinterpret the most classical graph-theoretical node centrality indexes and connectivity and network flow results in order to analyse the programme structure, including to discover flows and mismatches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020. p. 1-20
Keywords [en]
Concepts-courses matrix (CCM), concepts-courses graph (CCG), university programme design, graph theory, centrality, connectivity
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-77634DOI: 10.1080/03043797.2019.1710465ISI: 000506484200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77634DiVA, id: diva2:1391258
Available from: 2020-02-04 Created: 2020-02-04 Last updated: 2020-04-16

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Varagnolo, DamianoFjällström, Eva

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