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Effective Use Of Integrated Lecture And Lab To Teach Civil Engineering Materials

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Teaching Part Two

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.470.1 - 13.470.11



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Paper Authors


Claude Villiers Florida Gulf Coast University

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CLAUDE VILLIERS is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Materials and Construction from the University of Florida in 2004. Previously Dr. Villiers was an Assistant Professor at The City College of New York. Prior to this position, he was employed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a research engineer. Dr. Villiers also was employed by The University of Florida and worked on several projects sponsored by the FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

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Yusuf Mehta Rowan University

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Dr. Mehta is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. His research and teaching interests include pavement materials and design, service learning, and transportation safety. Dr. Mehta has published several technical and educational papers in leading professional organizations.

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Robert O'Neill Florida Gulf Coast University

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Robert J. O’Neill is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Kansas State University in 1993, M.S. degrees in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering from Stanford University in 1984, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers for 23 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Dr. O'Neill has been active as a Senior Mentor and instructor in Project ExCEEd for the American Society for Civil Engineering.

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

Effective Use of Integrated Lecture and Lab to Teach Civil Engineering Materials Abstract

The civil engineering (CE) materials course along with the other courses in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering (WSOE) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is taught in an integrated lecture lab style. In this non-traditional setting, instructors use an integrated, active, and collaborative instructional technique. Also, unlike many other universities, there is not a separate time slot allocated in the schedule to conduct the laboratory experiments for this CE materials course. Instead, the lab is embedded into the course structure. Although it has been documented in the literature that this technique represents effective teaching pedagogy only a few engineering programs have adopted this method. In addition, the WSOE is only in its third year since students were first admitted into the engineering program as freshman. The CE materials course, which is taught to juniors, was offered for the first time this year. To ensure that student learning is maintained, the authors used a comparative approach with a CE instructor at Rowan University. Both instructors, one at FGCU and one at Rowan, used a similar syllabus, test structure and content, and student laboratory report assignments in their classes. Furthermore, a lecture from FGCU was recorded and viewed at Rowan to determine how other students reacted to the new technique. One laboratory report, which was graded by both instructors, was selected along with a student survey and selected assignments to assess the effectiveness of the new technique in the CE materials course at FGCU. The information presented in this paper could be used as an evaluation benchmark for other courses in the engineering program at FGCU. Also, schools in primarily teaching institutions could use the lecture lab technique to increase student participation and improve student learning in engineering courses.


Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is the newest public university in Florida. Established in 1997, FGCU attracts thousands of new freshmen each year because of its commitment to academic excellence combined with a growing, younger regional population. The U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering which first admitted students in 2006, has debuted with three majors leading towards the Bachelor of Science degrees in Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. The teaching mission of FGCU and the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering is to foster excellence in teaching by incorporating innovation including integrated lecture lab style methods in all the engineering classes.

The Civil Engineering Materials course was offered for the first time to a group of 21 students. Conventionally, students enrolled in a CE Materials course also register for a separate lab section to conduct laboratory experiments. That is not the case at FGCU; instead, the lab is embedded into the course structure. The materials were presented in an integrated lecture/lab format throughout the course. Proponents of this teaching pedagogy believe that student engagement and enthusiasm is increased and student learning improves significantly1.

Villiers, C., & Mehta, Y., & O'Neill, R. (2008, June), Effective Use Of Integrated Lecture And Lab To Teach Civil Engineering Materials Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3763

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