DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW QUANTITATIVE INDICATOR OF FLEXIBILITY IN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING CURRICULA
American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Curricula in different engineering disciplines have certain common features, such as issues of prerequisites and interdependence among courses. Multiple prerequisites and hierarchical structure of courses in a typical engineering curriculum are major serious issue that interfere with and complicate the smooth progress of the respective study program. A successful curriculum therefore must be flexible enough to allow for sufficient alternatives and maneuvering. In this study a typical undergraduate engineering curriculum will be analyzed and simulated as a network where each course is represented as a node connected to previous prerequisites courses. The degree of interconnectivity among courses in the resulting network will be used to develop a quantitative measure that will manifest the stiffness of that curriculum. Different factors contributing to the overall stiffness or flexibility of that typical undergraduate engineering curriculum will be given weights proportional to their perceived effects. The resulting method will be applied to different undergraduate engineering curricula and comparisons will be made accordingly.