Asee peer logo

A Multi-Institutional Study of Pre- and Post-Course Knowledge Surveys in Undergraduate Geotechnical Engineering Courses

Download Paper |

Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Fostering Transformational Change in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

24

DOI

10.18260/p.26363

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26363

Download Count

31

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Simon Thomas Ghanat The Citadel

visit author page

Dr. Simon Ghanat is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Citadel (Charleston, S.C.). He received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University. His research interests are in Engineering Education and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. He previously taught at Bucknell University and Arizona State University.

visit author page

biography

James Kaklamanos Merrimack College

visit author page

Dr. James Kaklamanos is Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. Prior to joining the Merrimack faculty, Jim completed his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He specializes in geotechnical engineering, and his published work has included research on ground-motion prediction equations, site response analyses, uncertainty in earthquake engineering, and engineering education. At Merrimack, Jim has taught courses in geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering, earth retaining structures, earthquake engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering probability and statistics.

visit author page

biography

Katerina Ziotopoulou Virginia Tech

visit author page

Katerina Ziotopoulou was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She joined the Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech as an Assistant Professor in August 2014 after finishing her Ph.D. studies at the University of California, Davis. Before moving to the United States, she completed her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2007.
For her doctoral research, Katerina worked on the development, implementation, calibration and validation of a constitutive model for liquefiable soils and to that end worked closely with the Division of Safety of Dams of California and Fugro West Inc. She is currently teaching the undergraduate classes of Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering and Computer Methods in Civil Engineering as well as a newly developed graduate course on Numerical Modeling in Geotechnical Engineering.

visit author page

biography

S. Immanuel Selvaraj P.E. University of Evansville

visit author page

Dr. Immanuel Selvaraj is an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Evansville, IN. He holds a PhD degree from Auburn University and a licensed professional engineer.

visit author page

biography

Dennis J. Fallon The Citadel

visit author page

Dennis John Fallon is presently Distinguished Professor of Engineering Education at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his BSEE from Old Dominion University (ODU) with honors in 1970, and his MSCE and PhD. from North Carolina State University in 1972 and 1980, respectively.

An active member of the Southeastern Section of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Dr. Fallon has held numerous positions within the organization including President of the Southeastern Section from 1996 to 1997 and then again from 2003 to 2004. He was appointed Fellow of ASEE in June of 2010. He has also served for three years as the National Campus Representative and Chair of the CE Division of the National ASEE. In addition, he served a three-year term as Newsletter Editor of the CE Division. He served a two-year term as the Zone II representative on the National ASEE Board of Directors.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

A study was conducted at three primarily undergraduate institutions with civil engineering programs (a public university in the Southeast; two private universities, one in the Northeast and the other in the Central United States). A background knowledge probe (“pre-test”) and course knowledge survey (“post-test”) were developed based on key concepts in geotechnical engineering to assess the knowledge gained in undergraduate geotechnical engineering courses. Two sets of pre- and post-tests were developed: one for an introductory course in geotechnical engineering /soil mechanics, and the other for a second course in geotechnical engineering (on foundations, slope stability, and earth-retaining structures). The pre-tests were administered over a span of four semesters (twice in both Geotechnical Engineering I and Geotechnical Engineering II) to measure students’ prior geotechnical knowledge and to identify student misconceptions at the beginning of each semester. The same short-answer test (post-test) was administered on the last day of semester to assess knowledge gained as a result of the course experience. Detailed statistical analyses were performed using the collected data and preliminary results show that the students gained significant understanding on the various concepts in geotechnical engineering over the course of the two semesters. Additionally, the pre- and post-test instrument was used to measure the effectiveness of various pedagogical approaches at these institutions, as well as the logistics by which these courses are offered.

Ghanat, S. T., & Kaklamanos, J., & Ziotopoulou, K., & Selvaraj, S. I., & Fallon, D. J. (2016, June), A Multi-Institutional Study of Pre- and Post-Course Knowledge Surveys in Undergraduate Geotechnical Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26363

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: © 2016 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