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Effective Teaching And Learning Of Composite Materials For Undergraduate Civil Engineering Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Effective Teaching to Motivate & Retain

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.469.1 - 8.469.10

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Paper Authors

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Julio Davalos

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

Session 1615

Effective Teaching and Learning of Composite Materials for Undergraduate Civil Engineering Students

Julio F.Davalos, Pizhong Qiao

West Virginia University / University of Akron-OH


Motivated by two pressing concerns in engineering education, a general need for creating efficient learning environments and a specific need to educate civil engineering students in advanced composite materials (ACM), this paper is concerned with a NSF-supported effort for developing teaching guides for ACM in civil engineering curricula. The approach is based on "active learning," which consists of integrating innovative laboratory techniques with computer modeling and visualization tools to create an interactive and a collaborative team-oriented environment for students to dynamically participate in their own learning. An active learning approach is used to develop the instructional materials for ACM. The goal of the "active learning" curriculum is to create an effective learning environment where students enjoy “hands-on” experiences through laboratory experiments and computer simulations and illustrations. The general objectives of this study are: (a) to develop a framework on active learning approach, (b) to apply this framework to design teaching modules on fundamentals and applications of ACM; and (c) to translate the teaching guides into multimedia applications for use at other universities, using the Internet as a delivery medium. The developed teaching guides have been successfully implemented at West Virginia University and at the University of Akron, OH.


The teaching styles and modalities used by most engineering faculty are usually based on observation and common sense, and perhaps even familiarity with the "scientific method," which may be a good intuitive model for teaching and learning. Upon close examination of the literature on effective teaching, one quickly recognizes that while "good teaching can be described and evaluated, the art and science of teaching remain in a primitive state of development;" 1 however, the combination of selected fundamental principles with existing or emerging teaching technologies can be beneficial for improving the quality of learning and teaching in the classroom. In addition to the obvious benefits for students and the satisfaction Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Davalos, J. (2003, June), Effective Teaching And Learning Of Composite Materials For Undergraduate Civil Engineering Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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