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A Multimedia Geotechnical Laboratory Test Courseware

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.24.1 - 4.24.8

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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

Session 1315


by Muniram Budhu Professor, Department of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, 85721

ABSTRACT This paper describes a virtual consolidation test module of a suite of interactive multimedia geotechnical laboratory courseware. The module prepares students for the real test, supplements and complements the hands-on experience, extends the range and convenience of testing, test prior knowledge, guides students through the testing, allows students to prepare and interpret the test results, and allows students to apply the test results to "real" problems. Throughout the courseware, the student can monitor her/his performance and seek on-line help. The courseware has a quiz to evaluate learning outcomes and an electronic questionnaire to gather feedback from students to improve the courseware. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the courseware as a teaching tool has been very encouraging.

INTRODUCTION Civil Engineering, like many other engineering disciplines, have several courses that require laboratory components. In geotechnical engineering (a sub-discipline of Civil Engineering), undergraduate (mostly at junior level) and graduate students conduct an assortment of soil tests to fulfill the course requirements. There is a range of problems in soil laboratory instructions. The author contacted colleagues at several institutions and some of the problems of soil laboratory instructions cited are as follows. • Lack of testing of pre-requisite knowledge • Students do not make the connection between theory, experiment and application. • Some students view experiments as a chore • Some students do not participate in the experiments • Some students do not get hands on experience of setting up the apparatus and conducting the tests because of inadequate number of apparatuses and lack of laboratory space • Students do not perform the whole test because of time constraints • Equipment are out-dated and funds for replacement are inadequate or non-existent • Some institutions at remote locations do not have laboratories • Certain equipment, for example simple shear, true triaxial, torsional shear, etc., are absent or only found in a few research laboratories and are often not accessible to undergraduates • Lack of teaching aid to vividly explain the intricacies of the various laboratory tests and to excite students to seriously conduct the experiments.

Budhu, M. (1999, June), A Multimedia Geotechnical Laboratory Test Courseware Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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