473144 An Ontological Approach Towards Curriculum Alignment in Chemical Engineering

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Madeleine J. Bussemaker1, Nikolaos Trokanas2 and Franjo Cecelja1, (1)Process and Information Systems Engineering Research Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom, (2)Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

The curriculum has been identified as a major aspect of teaching in higher education (Byrne, 2006; Cassel, Davies, LeBlanc, Snyder, & Topi, 2008; Dexter & Davies, 2009; Mälkki & Paatero, 2015; Morsi, Ibrahim, & Williams, 2007) and its complexity has also been identified (Byrne, 2006), especially for the domain of Chemical Engineering. Solving problems relating to the curriculum and teaching and learning in general, is becoming more complicated. In an effort to address the problems that arise in relation to curriculum, educationalists and technologists employ advanced technologies. The technologies used range from simple concept maps (Morsi, Ibrahim, & Williams, 2007) to software solutions (Dexter & Davies, 2009) and semantic solutions (Cassel, Davies, LeBlanc, Snyder, & Topi, 2008). One of the latest attempts in employing semantic technologies and more specifically knowledge modelling has been presented in (Bussemaker et al., 2016), where the authors presented the CheEdo ontology. The ontology represents topics in Chemical Engineering and Learning outcomes.

In this paper we extend CheEdO ontology to facilitate vertical alignment of the curriculum. The ontology is modelled in Web Ontology Language (OWL) and SWRL language has been employed to create the rules that guide the alignment process.

The updated ontology is validated with a case study taking into account recent developments in UK curricula.


Bussemaker, M., Trokanas, N., Cecelja, F. 2016 "An Ontological Approach to Chemical Engineering Curriculum Development ", Proceedings of the 26th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering, June 2016.

Byrne, E.P. 2006, "The Role of Specialization in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum", Education for Chemical Engineers, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 3-15. 

Cassel, L.N., Davies, G., LeBlanc, R., Snyder, L. & Topi, H. 2008, "Using a computing ontology as a foundation for curriculum development", Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Ontologies & Semantic Web for E-Learning, pp. 21. 

Dexter, H. & Davies, I. 2009, "An ontology-based curriculum knowledgebase for managing complexity and change", Advanced Learning Technologies, 2009. ICALT 2009. Ninth IEEE International Conference onIEEE, , pp. 136. 

Mälkki, H. & Paatero, J.V. 2015, "Curriculum planning in energy engineering education", Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 106, pp. 292-299. 

Morsi, R., Ibrahim, W. & Williams, F. 2007, "Concept maps: Development and validation of engineering curricula", Frontiers In Education Conference-Global Engineering: Knowledge Without Borders, Opportunities Without Passports, 2007. FIE'07. 37th AnnualIEEE, , pp. T3H. 

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Chemical Engineering Education
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