June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.416.1 - 15.416.18
Development of an Introduction to Transportation Engineering Course - Using Experience-Based Learning to Bring Afghanistan Into the Classroom
The development of an Introduction to Transportation Engineering Course in the Civil Engineering Program at the United States Military Academy is discussed, which includes experienced-based learning. Motivation for the development of the course structure is based on the fact that the graduates are in a unique position in comparison with their contemporaries at civilian universities. Each graduate of the program has a guaranteed job upon graduation as a platoon leader in the United States Army. Moreover, many will choose to become Corps of Engineers officers and step into construction management jobs as their first professional experience. The mission of the Corps of Engineers encompasses military construction around the globe and the management of a massive civil works program in both the United States and abroad. Given an officer population in the Corps of Engineers that comes from diverse educational backgrounds, it is also a reality that many of our graduates will be one of only a few degreed civil engineers in their first military unit. In general, Academy provides approximately half of the ABET accredited engineers to the US Army.
With so much riding on these young engineers’ ability to leverage their education as soon as they graduate, the stakes are high for educators in the Academy’s Civil Engineering department. Add to this the fact that many graduating seniors will deploy to Afghanistan soon after they complete their undergraduate education, and a situation exists where education must both prepare cadets to understand the theoretical foundation of engineering as well as its effective practice in the deployed environment. Though there are challenges associated with preparing engineers in training to take on such large tasks, there are advantages as well. Having knowledge of the specific jobs that our graduates will assume brings with it the potential to focus the “application” portion of the civil engineering curriculum and communicate with our customer, the Corps of Engineers, on what professional tasks a civil engineer must accomplish in a deployed environment.
This paper will discuss the development of the Introduction to Transportation Engineering course, from modeling the course structure based on a successful Construction Management Course to the specific development of experienced-based learning lessons. Underpinning the endeavor is the recognition that the true value of the structure and experienced-based learning experiences in the course is that students will achieve a higher level of development in the cognitive and affective domains – which are necessary to meeting the mission of the Academy and the Department. Furthermore, the authors believe that the selected content and overall approach in the introductory transportation engineering course presented in this paper is of interest to other institutions who are adding similar courses to their program.
Melin, N., & Hallon, R., & Hanus, J. (2010, June), Development Of An Introduction To Transportation Engineering Course Using Experience Based Learning To Bring Afghanistan Into The Classroom Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15669
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