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Educating Land Development Engineers About Construction Activities Through A Field Journal Technique

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.494.1 - 9.494.8



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Paper Authors

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Liv Brakewood

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

Session 1793

Educating Land Development Engineers about Construction Activities through a Field Journal Technique

Liv M Haselbach, Ph.D., P.E. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 20208


Land development is a very eclectic area in civil and environmental engineering. The practitioners must be knowledgeable in many fields of engineering and other disciplines ranging from accessibility to zoning and many topics in between, including construction engineering. It is also recognized that civil engineering students should have closer contact with real-world construction, and in many cases this has been accomplished with bringing construction site aspects into the classroom, but may also be accomplished by bringing the classroom to the construction site 1. In addition, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) system, which is used for accreditation of most of the collegiate engineering programs in the United States 2 lists one of the outcomes that must be demonstrated is that the graduates of these programs have the ability to communicate effectively 3,4. One of the areas important for engineers in land development is being able to communicate field information effectively. Added to these important issues, is the belief that spatial visualization contributes to success in engineering 5. Thus, the idea of a field journal exercise covering progress at a nearby construction site was considered as an assignment for use by engineering students studying land development, so that these students could observe construction activities and learn to translate their visual observations at a construction site into a written and/or sketched format.

There has also been much discussion about a New Paradigm for Engineering Education in engineering journals. Some of the attributes include inquiry-based learning and preparation for life-long learning, a stress on systems thinking, communication skills, and a focus on such issues as sustainable development, timeliness and health and safety 6. The field journal concept at this particular construction site was also conceived to be able to address some of these items.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of South Carolina has recently introduced an introductory course in land development issues for engineers. In order to give the students exposure to many of the aspects of a land development project ‘system’, and also to increase comprehension for the time related items in construction, it was decided that the students follow a nearby project with a field journal instead of the more traditional approach of taking these students on field trips to one or more different construction/land development sites.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education"

Brakewood, L. (2004, June), Educating Land Development Engineers About Construction Activities Through A Field Journal Technique Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14101

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