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Development of an Introduction to Infrastructure Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.488.1 - 22.488.8



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Paper Authors


Matthew W. Roberts University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Matthew Roberts is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Roberts earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1993 then spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a civil engineering officer. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2002 and has been teaching structural engineering topics at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville since then.

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Philip J. Parker University of Wisconsin, Platteville


Michael K. Thompson University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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M. Keith Thompson teaches Structural Mechanics and Reinforced Concrete Design at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. His interests are in design of reinforced concrete structures and he is a member of the ACI Committee 408 "Bond and Development of Reinforcement." He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and had previously worked as a bridge engineer for Figg Engineering in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Barb A. Barnet Univeristy of Wisconsin - Platteville

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Barb Barnet, Ph.D., Statistics, has served as a faculty member at UW, Platteville for 12 years.

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Development of an Introduction to Infrastructure CourseAn “Introduction to Infrastructure” course has been developed in the Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering Department at [institution]. The course is intended for sophomore students andserves two main purposes in the curriculum: 1. To introduce the students to civil engineering and the subdisciplines, and 2. To begin the development of an awareness of infrastructure and the challenges facing the United States with respect to infrastructure overcapacity and degradation.Details of efforts to incorporate exemplary teaching materials in the course development will bepresented and information will be provided to access the materials developed, which will soon beavailable online. A particularly noteworthy aspect of the course is that students completed asimplified “infrastructure report card” for a local municipality. This simplified report card ismodeled after the “Report Card for America’s Infrastructure” 1 produced by the AmericanSociety of Civil Engineers. Results from the simplified report card project will be presented.The course was developed as part of a National Science Foundation grant in the Course,Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement program. A pilot offering of the course was offered inSpring 2010 and a second offering of the course is scheduled for Spring 2011. Preliminary directassessment efforts from the pilot offering indicate that the course was successful in meetinginstructional goals. Indirect assessment is currently being conducted to measure studentsatisfaction with the course (what they enjoyed about it, clarity of information, applicability tofuture courses and/or employment, etc.), appreciation of infrastructure problems facing theUnited States, and perception of teamwork skills gained by working on the course project. Theseindirect results will be included in the paper and will be available at the poster session.1

Roberts, M. W., & Parker, P. J., & Thompson, M. K., & Barnet, B. A. (2011, June), Development of an Introduction to Infrastructure Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17769

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