Analysis of body of knowledge in civil engineering

Jean-Pierre Bardet, Gisele Ragusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to major societal changes resulting from world urbanization and population increase, manmade and natural disasters, and globalization of manufacturing and design, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has launched a profound reform of engineering education which aims at evolving civil engineering in the 21st century. ASCE has recently released a Body of Knowledge (BOK version 2, 2007) in response to the changing needs of educating engineers to meet societal challenges. This paper examines how BOK2 applies the concept of learning taxonomy, originally developed by Bloom (1956) and later revised by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001). This learning taxonomy articulates learning in a two dimensional framework that includes knowledge dimensions and cognitive process dimensions. The knowledge dimensions include factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge. The cognitive process dimensions include six levels characterized by descriptors and actions including: remember, understand, apply, analyze, create, and evaluate. BOK2, which was developed using Bloom's taxonomy, is examined using Anderson's and Krathwohl's revised learning taxonomy as a guide. This is found to be an important step toward reforming engineering education. Indeed ASCE is among the first engineering profession to have adopted such a progressive approach to reforming engineering education. Our analysis suggests that BOK2 can become more effective pedagogically using the revised taxonomy, allowing it to aggressively promote the creativity required for the engineering profession to tackle the enormous challenges of the 21rst century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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