Design and implementation of a practice-based course in contracting and project management

Kristen Hurtado, Jake Smithwick, Kenneth Sullivan, John Savicky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Addressing the needs of engineering curriculum to provide evidence-based practice and opportunities for students to gain skills that can be applied in the workplace has been identified as a need by industry and accreditation bodies. Institutions are seeking to properly meet these needs, while also balancing decades of history with traditional courses. Courses that teach business-type practices and fundamentals help fill key a necessity for the "engineer of the future." In response, the researchers developed a new course over two semesters that provides instruction on the owners' role in developing request for proposals (RFP), evaluating proposals, conducting project pre-planning, and identifying project performance indicators. The researchers used applied instructional design concepts from the field of education in creating the course, focusing on the objectives and related student outcomes. Thus, the primary goals of this paper are to summarize the researchers' course development efforts so that others may benefit in their own development of similar courses, and also, present some initial findings of student support and learning as a result of the course. Specifically, student enrollment in the course increased by 42 percent, students' final project quality increased by 20 percent, and students' self-efficacy ratings increased across all performance objectives by 109 percent. These results have encouraged the researchers to continue course refinement and work towards further instructional and assessment tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016


Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • Business concepts
  • Contracting
  • Project management
  • Scenario-based instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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