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A Web Oriented Reinforced Concrete Design Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Web Education II: Hardware/Examples

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.130.1 - 9.130.12

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Paper Authors

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Jose Calixto

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Glaucia Almeida

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Frederico Rodrigues

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elizabeth maia

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

A Web Oriented Reinforced Concrete Design Course

José M. Calixto, Gláucia N. Almeida, Elizabeth V. Maia, Frederico Rodrigues

School of Engineering, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil


In the last decades, there has been a worldwide revolution on the concepts and techniques of education. New tools have been developed which primary rule is to aid the student’s learning process. The basic idea behind this revolution is not discard the traditional classroom teaching method, but to create complementary alternatives, which will aid teachers enhance the student’s performance. In this scenario, the use of computers has become an attractive alternative for the development of learning environments. The high interactive interfaces, which computers have through their multimedia resources, graphics, artificial intelligence and virtual realities, will certainly stimulate the student’s learning process. The advent of the Internet has pushed the production of computer teaching aids even further. Web based courses provide not only flexibility to students learn according to their time frame and pace but also the possibility of several students being connected simultaneously. The user-friendly interface provided by the Internet browser is another feature, which must not be forgotten.

In the last 80 years, concrete has been the most used construction material worldwide 1. Consequently reinforced concrete is an important subject of any engineering and architectural major student. A constant and important problem faced by students in a reinforced concrete design course is their difficulty in visualize the main aspects of the behavior, design and detailing of concrete structures. Over the years, the traditional teaching methods have shown expressively this fact, which, in turn, has made professors try different approaches to overcome the problem.

This paper presents the implementation of a Web oriented teaching aid for reinforced concrete design courses. Applets are being developed for the design of reinforced concrete beams under bending and shear. They will be inserted into IdeaGateway, a teaching-learning virtual environment at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. The environment implementation model is based on the client/server architecture. The Java platform has been chosen for its features such as portability, simple maintenance, object oriented programming, and the large number of auxiliary libraries. The applets allow the visualization not only of the design process but also of the detailing of the reinforced concrete beams. With this visualization, in real time, the students will be able to understand much better the basic concepts on the behavior and detailing of reinforced concrete elements that sometimes are difficult to show on the blackboard.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Calixto, J., & Almeida, G., & Rodrigues, F., & maia, E. (2004, June), A Web Oriented Reinforced Concrete Design Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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