Assessment of Students' Preconceptions in the Introductory Transportation Engineering Course

Milos Mladenovic, Katerina Mangaroska, Montasir Abbas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Introductory transportation-engineering courses are critical in developing student’s interests for transportation and for providing foundational knowledge base for high-level courses. This research has been initiated by the need for appropriate learning environment in the introductory transportation-engineering course. Students’ preconceptions are an important element of the learning environment, considering that people construct new knowledge based on the previous understandings and beliefs about important concepts. The research presented here has focused on assessing students’ preconceptions in the introductory transportation-engineering course at Virginia Tech. The critical approach of this research was the use of concept maps, as tools for assessment of students’ preconceptions. The paper starts with an evaluation of the course, and methodology for collecting, coding, and analyzing concept maps. The results of this assessment point to the variation of students’ preconceptions based on their major and year, along with specific positive, negative, or missing preconceptions. The analysis also includes students’ concepts about transportation engineering at the end of the course. Considering this is the initial research in the area, there are several implications for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers
PublisherTransportation Research Board
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventTransportation Research Board Annual Meeting - Washington, United States
Duration: 12 Jan 201416 Jan 2014
Conference number: 93


ConferenceTransportation Research Board Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titletrb
CountryUnited States

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