Evaluation of Desktop Learning Modules in Civil Engineering Classrooms to Promote Inductive and Interactive Learning Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gq67jv526

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  • Students in undergraduate engineering programs typically do not synthesize content learned from disparate course work until the end of their final terms of college. As an example, in undergraduate civil engineering programs, transportation engineering concepts (e.g., geometric alignment, asphalt design procedures) and geotechnical engineering concepts (e.g., shear strength of soils, soil compaction) are not often integrated until senior design, if then. This Thesis was primarily concerned with improving student understanding of how soil and transportation infrastructure interact during natural hazards. Based on this focus, a transportation geotechnics DLM was developed to focus on the concept of a response spectrum. The response spectrum is an engineering design tool that tracks the response of simplified structures to external loading. Two unique models were created: one to portray the effect of varying mass and one to demonstrate the effects of varying weight. Each Response Spectrum DLM was instrumented with three axis accelerometers at the center of each mass to estimate the velocity and position of the mass to assess the complete response spectrum system. The completed Response Spectrum DLM introduced in three separate civil engineering classrooms at Oregon State University to determine if inductive and active learning were promoted in the classroom as a result. Through the use of the DLM, it was concluded, based on in-class observation and follow-up faculty interviews, that inductive and active learning were promoted in the classroom. Furthermore, the follow-up interviews provided evidence to support the likelihood of an instructor adopting the response spectrum DLM or an alternative DLM in future classes. All three professors expressed a desire to continue using the DLM.
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