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A Homework Problems Database: Design And Implementation

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Computing Tools for Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

11.53.1 - 11.53.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1107

Download Count

147

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Paper Authors

biography

Matthew Roberts University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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MATTHEW ROBERTS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Roberts earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1993 then spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a civil engineering officer. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2002 and has been teaching structural engineering topics at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville since then.

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biography

Christina Curras University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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CHRISTINA CURRAS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Curras earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering
from the University of California at Davis in 1995, her M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1998, and her
Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in 2000. She has been teaching geotechnical engineering and general engineering topics at the
University of Wisconsin-Platteville since then.

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biography

Philip Parker University of Wisconsin-Platteville

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PHILIP PARKER, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW-Platteville. He received his B.S.., M.S., and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the environmental engineering area, but he also enjoys teaching freshman engineering courses and the Computer Applications course. His research interests include solid and hazardous waste management, drinking water purification, and assessing best teaching strategies.

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

A Homework Problems Database: Design and Implementation

Abstract An implementation of a homework problems database is explained. The database allows instructors to categorize problems using several criteria including subject matter, required skill set, difficulty, and the date the problem was last used. The problem solution is also stored reducing the effort to produce an assignment key. The design and implementation of the database is given and assessment of its usefulness is provided.

Background The homework problems database was developed for CEE2120 (Civil and Environmental Engineering Computer Applications), which is a sophomore-level course required of all civil and environmental engineering majors. Students become proficient using Excel and MathCAD, and are introduced to RISA 2-D, AutoCAD Land Desktop, and Microsoft Access. The course is 3 credits, and students describe the course as one of the most work-intensive yet useful classes that they take. The Fall 2005 Learning Objectives for CEE2120 are provided in the Appendix.

The Need When teaching students to use computer applications in engineering, several complications arise in the assignment of homework problems. Because the assignments are completed (and often turned in) in electronic form, the opportunity to plagiarize students’ work from previous semesters is easier than in most other courses, increasing the temptation to cheat. In order to reduce this temptation, we sought to produce some new homework problems (typically one per assignment) each year and minimize the number of homework problems that are used in consecutive semesters. After several years of teaching, this has led to a vast repository of homework problems. We also had the goal of providing problems in various civil engineering disciplines so students can solve various problems in different technical disciplines. Organizing the problems (which were stored by assignment as word-processing files) and tracking their previous usage became a daunting task. To facilitate our efforts, a database was developed (using Microsoft Access) to store the problems.

The database is now in use and has simplified the creation of homework assignments. The design of this database, its advantages, and usage issues we have encountered will be the focus of the paper. Assessment includes reflection by the instructors who have used the database.

Objectives The objectives of this project were to create a homework problems database that:

Organizes more than 300 problems into an easily-retrievable format, Allows the instructor to create homework sets efficiently, Allows the instructor to create homework sets that are unique from sets created in previous semesters, Allows the instructor to create homework sets that focus equally on the various sub- disciplines of civil engineering, and Is easily updated.

Roberts, M., & Curras, C., & Parker, P. (2006, June), A Homework Problems Database: Design And Implementation Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1107

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015