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Board # 28 :The CIT-E Model Introductory Infrastructure Course: Summary of the "Fundamentals" Module

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Philip J. Parker P.E. University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Philip Parker, Ph.D., P.E., is Program Coordinator for the Environmental Engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is co-author of the textbook "Introduction to Infrastructure" published in 2012 by Wiley. He has helped lead the recent efforts by the UW-Platteville Civil and Environmental Engineering department to revitalize their curriculum by adding a sophomore-level infrastructure course and integrating infrastructure content into upper level courses.

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Carol Haden Magnolia Consulting, LLC

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Dr. Carol Haden is a Principal Evaluator at Magnolia Consulting, LLC, a woman-owned, small business specializing in independent research and evaluation. She has served as evaluator for STEM education projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Arizona Department of Education, among others. Areas of expertise include evaluations of engineering education curricula and programs, informal education and outreach programs, STEM teacher development, and climate change education programs.

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The Center for Infrastructure Transformation and Education (CIT-E) is a community of civil and environmental engineering faculty members representing more than 30 institutions interested in the scholarship of infrastructure education. CIT-E activities have evolved in a short period of time, starting with sharing materials from existing infrastructure courses at University X and the University of Y, to collaboratively creating sample “showcase” course lectures, to the current effort of collaboratively creating a model introductory infrastructure course. The course outline and learning outcomes for a model introductory infrastructure course were collaboratively developed in 2015 by the CIT-E community. The student learning outcomes are: 1) An ability to analyze and propose solutions to infrastructure problems 2) An ability to describe and analyze infrastructure using systems and network approaches 3) An ability to identify traits of effective team members and apply these traits to course assignments 4) An ability to identify traits of effective spoken and written communication, and be able to apply these traits to make clear and compelling arguments 5) The desire to make a positive impact on the world, country, state, local levels and face infrastructure problems with an open-minded perspective 6) The ability to describe the influence of political, social, technological, environmental, and economic factors on infrastructure decisions 7) The ability to explain how infrastructure solutions affect society, the environment, and finances (i.e. the “triple bottom line”) 8) The ability to evaluate the condition of existing infrastructure and recommend improvements 9) The ability to define and describe the components of an infrastructure system and their functions To meet these outcomes, a course outline was collaboratively created by CIT-E members. The course outline contains 43 lessons, and is divided into five modules: Fundamentals, One Water, Transportation, Energy, and Capstone. The model course may be adopted in its entirety by future users; however, it is more likely that adopters will want to “pick and choose” from the available materials to suit their own department’s needs. Consequently, we have wanted to make sure that the model course is created to be as flexible as possible. CIT-E members are currently creating the lessons for this model course, starting with the Fundamentals module. This module is perhaps the most important module; not only does it introduce students to infrastructure, but the materials from this module are integrated into lessons in the other modules. Each lesson is created by a team of CIT-E members, subjected to a peer review process, and then made available to adopters. The lessons were started by each team at the “Model Infrastructure Course Lesson Development Workshop” held in May 2015 at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. This paper will provide brief summaries and an overview of the process carried out to create the following lessons that comprise the Fundamentals module:

Lesson 1: What is infrastructure and why do we care? Lesson 2: Basic infrastructure functions Lesson 3: Systems/network analysis Lesson 4: TBL/Sustainability Lesson 5: Social impacts of infrastructure Lesson 6: Teamwork Lesson 7: Ethics I Lesson 8: Ethics II Lesson 9: Traits of effective written and oral communication Lesson 10: Financing public works Lesson 11: Safety/licensure Lesson 12: Land use and planning/growth/forecasting Lesson 13: Resilience and risk

Parker, P. J., & Haden, C. (2017, June), Board # 28 :The CIT-E Model Introductory Infrastructure Course: Summary of the "Fundamentals" Module Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27821

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