A method for assessing required course-related skills and prerequisite structure Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014 SEFI. Engineering curricula should be dynamic with a goal of constant improvement and refinement. Unfortunately, this is often not the case; courses are developed, altered, and expanded in a piecemeal manner. Namely, as time progresses many programmes end up with courses that are developed and not a developed curriculum. To remedy this shortcoming product, development tools are proposed for the refinement and assessment of an existing curriculum; how these methods could be used for the development of a curriculum is also highlighted. The voice of the customer (VOC) process is used to identify and prioritise desired student skills. The design structure matrix (DSM) is used to assess course prerequisite structure. There is broad agreement between faculty and industry related to which professional skills are the most important. The DSM is shown to be a useful tool in ordering courses and assessing prerequisite structures. The DSM is also shown to be useful in identifying which courses in a curriculum are critical and should be the focus of educational and administrative resources.

published proceedings

  • European Journal of Engineering Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Johnson, M. D., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Johnson, Michael D||Wang, Jyhwen

publication date

  • May 2015