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2023 Fall Mid Atlantic Conference: Meeting our students where they are and getting them where they need to be


Ewing, New Jersey

Publication Date

October 27, 2023

Start Date

October 27, 2023

End Date

January 10, 2024

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Shohana Iffat Farmingdale State College (SUNY), NY, USA

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Dr. Shohana Iffat is an assistant professor at Civil Engineering Technology Department of Farmingdale State College (SUNY), NY, USA. She teaches Civil Engineering Materials, Elements Strength of Materials, and Statics here. She obtained her Ph.D. in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of South Carolina, USA and her research is focused on nanotechnology in cementitious composites for construction. Before coming to USA, she was an assistant professor at Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

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Active learning is an essential tool in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education to enhance in-depth and hands-on knowledge. However, most civil engineering students learn reflectively. These students show a lack of interest in lectures and remain irregular and less interactive. Hence, they fail to catch many fundamental concepts which are difficult to learn effectively through self-study. In this paper, a step-by-step effective active learning method will be introduced which will encourage active learners to be more attentive as well as will motivate the reflective learners to learn actively. Through the proposed method, simple guided handouts will be supplied to the students before the classes with some empty spaces. Students must attend the lecture carefully to fill up those spaces with the guidance of the instructor. At the end of the lecture, the class will be broken into small groups to work on a small task. Additionally, a short quiz paper will be provided to the students based on that lecture and the group task. Students must work together on that task and then submit the quiz paper individually. This quiz will be considered a high-stakes in-class exercise and will be graded. This method will encourage the students to attend classes timely and to follow the instructions attentively. Moreover, students will remain interactive with the instructor. As a result, students will have clear fundamental concepts, will attend classes regularly, and will enjoy the course. Additionally, students’ homework load will be reduced which will save their family time and co-curricular activity time. On the other hand, instructors will have access to students’ attendance and class performance records from the quizzes. In summary, this method will motivate engineering students to actively attend classes with accomplishment.

Iffat, S. (2023, October), AN INNOVATIVE ACTIVE LEARNING APPROACH IN CIVIL ENGINEERING EDUCATION Paper presented at 2023 Fall Mid Atlantic Conference: Meeting our students where they are and getting them where they need to be, Ewing, New Jersey. 10.18260/1-2--45115

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