Longitudinal integration of the same design project in multiple structural engineering courses

Matthew Swenty, Benjamin Z. Dymond, Sara Ojard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Civil engineering students may perceive that their course curriculum is composed of several isolated structural design classes that build expertise in separate areas that do not overlap. The objective of this research was to integrate the same design project longitudinally in steel and reinforced concrete design classes at multiple universities to introduce the ideas of iterative design, underscore design options, and reinforce common, key concepts. Several questions were investigated using longitudinal integration of a common design project. First, how did students perform when completing the project for the first time in reinforced concrete design compared to those completing the project for the first time in steel design? Second, considering the same cohort of students, how did they perform on the project the second time in steel design compared to the first time in reinforced concrete design? Third, the students' knowledge on basic structural analysis and plan reading was measured at the beginning and end of each course. What level of knowledge did they have when entering the respective course? Were students' perceptions of their knowledge gains during the courses supported by assessed knowledge gains? Student design project grades and pre- and post-surveys were used to answer the research questions. Students completing the project for the first time in steel design had slightly higher grades than those completing the project the first time in reinforced concrete design. Students completing the project for the second time had slightly higher average final grades compared to students completing the project for the first time. Survey results indicated that students' confidence in reading plans increased substantially the first time through the project regardless of which design class they took first, but remained similar the second time through. The students' ability to set up and solve free body diagrams from the structural plans continued to improve each time they completed the project, regardless of the course. Based on these results, students made the most knowledge gains the first time through the project, retained substantial knowledge after the first time through the project, but continued to gain confidence after completing the project the second time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal integration of the same design project in multiple structural engineering courses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this