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An Approach To Selecting Effective Projects For Engineering Computer Graphics

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Curriculum Development and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.179.1 - 14.179.10



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Paper Authors


Claude Villiers Florida Gulf Coast University

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CLAUDE VILLIERS is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Materials and Construction from the University of Florida in 2004. Previously Dr. Villiers was an Assistant Professor at The City College of New York. Prior to this position, he was employed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a research engineer. Dr. Villiers also was employed by The University of Florida and worked on several projects sponsored by the FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

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

An Approach to Select Effective Projects for Engineering Computer Graphics Abstract

Engineering Computer Aided Graphics (known as AutoCAD) has been offered at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) for approximately 2-½ years to an average of 30 junior Civil and Environmental Engineering students per semester. At FGCU, as well as at many other universities across the nation, this two-credit hour course is usually structured into two 1-¼ hour sessions per week. The major problem faced herein is that this is not sufficient time in which to effectively cover course materials. Selection of the design project has become crucial to maximizing the student learning outcomes. The instructor challenges the students by selecting a design project with real life parameters; in this case, the new buildings being constructed on campus. Students are provided with only a text file of the proposed plan of one of the future campus buildings. Students are divided into groups of two to four and required to use their combined imaginations and engineering abilities to produce a design that meets the minimum expectations outlined by the instructor. On the last day of class, students showcase their final designs in a poster presentation. Grades are assigned by invited guests. Surveys, feedback from the judges, and performance by the students have demonstrated that this approach is very effective in improving a student’s learning outcome, ability to work with others, design ability, and communication skills. Other schools could also use such an approach to increase student participation and to improve student learning in engineering computer graphics courses.


The challenge of maximizing student classroom learning within minimal time constraints is a very real one for the educator. Nowhere is this problem more apparent that in the field of Engineering Computer Aided Graphics (AutoCAD). The following is the study plan I have successfully used to maximize student learning by placing it in a real life context. Established in 1997, FGCU is the newest public university in the State of Florida and, as such, attracts thousands of new freshmen each year because of its commitment to academic excellence combined with a growing, younger regional population. The U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering (WSOE), which first admitted students in 2006, offers three Bachelor of Science degrees: Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. The teaching mission of FGCU and the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering is to foster excellence in teaching by incorporating innovation through the integration of lectures and labs in all the engineering classes. The “lab exercise” is embedded into the lecture. Additional information about this technique is provided by O’Neil1 and Villiers2.

Engineering Computer Graphics has been offered in the program since spring 2007. The average class size is 30. The course objectives are to introduce the students to both basic and advanced commands; to create two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) drawings using AutoCAD software; to create scaled and full-size drawings that adhere to proper conventions for line types, symbols, legends, text lettering and abbreviations, margin settings, and detailing; and to develop effective presentation and writing skills. The challenge is to meet all of the above mentioned objectives within the very limited two 1-¼ hour sessions (two-credit course) per week.

Villiers, C. (2009, June), An Approach To Selecting Effective Projects For Engineering Computer Graphics Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4895

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