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A Civil Engineering Materials Courseware With A Virtual Laboratory

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.18.1 - 7.18.8



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Paper Authors

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Muniram Budhu

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session: 1526


Muniram Budhu

Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 Tel: (520) 621 245, e-mail:


Concrete, steel and wood are common building materials. In Civil Engineering, a strength of materials course is usually mandatory at the sophomore or junior level. Students are taught the basic characteristics of these materials and then conduct laboratory tests to measure these characteristics, especially strength and deformation. This paper describes one module – a steel module – of a suite of multimedia civil engineering materials courseware modules that used modern communication technologies to educate undergraduate students anytime/ any place. A virtual laboratory is included in the courseware that allows the student to conduct virtual laboratory tests on steel in tension, in torsion and impact. A universal testing machine capable of applying tension, compression and torque, and a Charpy V notch impact testing machine are simulated. The courseware utilizes interactive animations, sound and graphics to enhance learning and retention, and improving the connection between theory and experiment. The modules are geared to active learning and include electronic quizzes for assessing short-term knowledge retention. The virtual laboratory is intended to prepare students for the real test, to supplement and complement the hands-on experience, to extend the range and convenience of testing, to test a student's prior knowledge, to guide the student through the testing and to allow the student to prepare and interpret the test results. Throughout the courseware, the student can monitor her/his performance and seek on-line help.


Building materials have always been important to living organisms. Humans have used a variety of building materials for protection from natural forces and invaders, and for industrial and cultural purposes. Concrete, steel and wood are common building materials. To use them safely and efficiently to satisfy engineering needs require knowledge of their strength and deformation properties. In Civil Engineering, the characteristics of these materials are taught in a strength of materials course that is usually mandatory at the sophomore or junior level. Often students from other engineering disciplines, e.g. mechanical engineering opt for this course. In addition to conventional lectures, students normally conduct laboratory tests to measure engineering properties of materials. For example, students will study the desired properties of concrete for

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Budhu, M. (2002, June), A Civil Engineering Materials Courseware With A Virtual Laboratory Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10854

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