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Assessment of Active and Team-based Learning Techniques in a Transportation Engineering Introductory Course

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Innovation and Fun in the Civil Engineering Classroom

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Alexandra Kondyli University of Kansas Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Alexandra Kondyli is an Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering in Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas since August 2014. Dr. Kondyli’s research interests include traffic operations and management, highway capacity, ITS, microsimulation, driver behavior, and traffic flow theory. Prior to her appointment at the University of Kansas, Dr. Kondyli was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida Transportation Research Center. Dr. Kondyli has worked on research projects funded by Kansas DOT, Florida DOT, USDOT, and by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). She has authored and co-authored more than fifty publications, presentations and reports related to traffic operations, simulation, highway capacity, safety, and driver behavior. Dr. Kondyli is currently the Chair of the Freeways/Multilane Highways of the Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee (AHB40) of the Transportation Research Board. She also has consulting experience in the fields of traffic operations, geometric design and roadway safety. Dr. Kondyli received her Graduate Diploma in Rural and Surveying Engineering, (five year program) from National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in June 2003. She received her M.S. degree in 2005 and her Ph.D. degree in 2009 in Civil Engineering from University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Molly McVey University of Kansas

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Dr. Molly A. McVey is a post-doctoral teaching fellow at the University of Kansas School of Engineering where she works with faculty to incorporate evidence-based and student-centered teaching methods, and to research the impacts of changes made to teaching on student learning and success. Dr. McVey earned her Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas.

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Christopher Patrick Melgares University of Kansas

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Graduate student at the University of Kansas

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Active and cooperative learning has shown significant benefits to students in STEM disciplines. Several active-learning and cooperative learning techniques have been introduced to the Introduction to Transportation Engineering course in the last four semesters it was taught. This work presents a comparison of student learning in the two traditionally taught semesters compared to the two semesters that used active and team-based learning.

Introduction to Transportation Engineering is junior level introductory course in traffic engineering and covers vehicle dynamics, geometric design, traffic flow concepts, uninterrupted and interrupted flow analysis, quality of service assessment, and travel demand forecasting. This paper compares two semesters of traditional lecture format (Fall 2014 and Spring 2016) to two semesters using an active and collaborative format (Spring 2017 and Spring 2018) and explores whether the implementation of active and team-based learning methods had an impact on student learning in the course. To answer this question, common exam questions between the four semesters (grouped into two groups: traditional vs. active/TBL) were compared. In addition, student surveys from the final semester provide insights into the student perception of active and team-based learning components.

Results showed a statistically significant improvement in 7/25 (28%) of the compared objectives, a statistically significant decline in 5/25 (20.0%) of compared objectives, and no change in 13/25 (52.0%) of objectives. The majority of the objectives that declined focused on concepts that were not covered in the in-class problems; the majority of objectives that improved were problem-solving type questions similar to the type of questions practiced with active learning. Student feedback showed satisfaction with the active and team-based format.

Kondyli, A., & McVey, M., & Melgares, C. P. (2019, June), Assessment of Active and Team-based Learning Techniques in a Transportation Engineering Introductory Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32126

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