Asee peer logo

Assessing The Impact Of Case Studies On The Civil Engineering And Engineering Mechanics Curriculum

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.276.1 - 12.276.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Norb Delatte Cleveland State University Orcid 16x16

author page

Rosemary Sutton Cleveland State University

author page

William Beasley Cleveland State University

author page

Joshua Bagaka's Cleveland State University

Download Paper |

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

Assessing the Impact of Case Studies on the Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Curriculum Abstract

Engineers design. Engineering design uses mathematics and other principles, combined with judgment, to prevent failures. The lessons learned from failures have often led directly to changes to engineering codes and procedures. There is much that engineering students and engineers can learn from failures, and failures play an important role in engineering design. Therefore, there is a recognized need for failure awareness in the undergraduate engineering curriculum. This need has been documented in a number of papers and at a number of conferences over the past 15 years. This project is a specific response to that need, and will provide much needed access to thoroughly developed examples, and a heightened appreciation of the role failure analysis knowledge can play in higher education and public safety.

The expected outcomes of this project will be educational materials on failure case studies for use in civil engineering and engineering mechanics courses, in print and CD-ROM format, and a series of three one-day workshops to disseminate those materials to engineering faculty members across the U.S., as well as a tested assessment package. The objectives of the project will be greater breadth of knowledge, greater depth of knowledge, and improved learning with a reasonable benefit/cost ratio for faculty.

Although the majority of the work will be carried out at Cleveland State University, faculty members and practicing engineers from across the country will participate in the development of these materials and the workshop, through the various committees of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Technical Council on Forensic Engineering (TCFE). Researchers from CSU College of Education will assist in assessing the impact of this project.

Case studies require students to synthesize the facts and engineering principles they have learned, and combine them with their broader education in the arts, humanities, and sciences. These intellectual merits have been demonstrated so far with the students who have developed case studies under the proof-of-concept phase of this work. Case studies tie together technical aspects, ethical issues, and procedural issues, and require students to undertake higher order thinking in order to synthesize the relevant concepts. The case study products of this research will help civil engineering educators improve their teaching of specific technical topics within the discipline. In addition, the cases integrate ethics and procedural/professional issues into the courses.

The broader impacts of the proposed activity will be the implementation of a set of fully developed case studies for civil engineering education. Based on survey returns from the participants selected for the pilot workshop, each of the 60 faculty can expect to directly influence an average of 3.2 courses and 215 students in the two years following workshop attendance. Thus, the broader impact will be approximately 190 courses and 13,000 students across the U.S. Furthermore, students will participate in this program developing case studies under the supervision of the faculty investigators.

Delatte, N., & Sutton, R., & Beasley, W., & Bagaka's, J. (2007, June), Assessing The Impact Of Case Studies On The Civil Engineering And Engineering Mechanics Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1899

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: © 2007 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