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Engagement in Practice: Using Community Engagement to Teach Drafting Software to Civil Engineering Students

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engagement In Practice: Integrating Community Engagement into Engineering Curricula

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Nathan E Canney P.E.

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Dr. Canney conducts research focused on engineering education, specifically the development of social responsibility in engineering students. Other areas of interest include ethics, service learning, and sustainability education. Dr. Canney received bachelors degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Seattle University, a masters in Civil Engineering from Stanford University with an emphasis on structural engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Canney taught in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Seattle University for four years and now works in private consulting.

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Elizabeth O'Brien Seattle University

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Teddi Callahan

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This paper explores a course design that uses a software drafting program, Revit, as the foundation for community engagement (CE) projects in a required course for civil engineering students. Over four terms, this course has used seven CE projects with three different partners. Local community partners were found through the university’s Center for Community Engagement who reached out to community partners that typically host placement-based CE in arts and sciences courses to find spatially based problems that students could address.

The course design included several sessions with the students and the community partners, including a preliminary kick-off meeting and a mid-term conceptual design review. After the conceptual design review, students developed several draft drawing sets and calculation documents, which were submitted to the professor as intermediate deliverables. Final drawing sets, calculations, and written explanations of the design were submitted to the professor and the community partner at the end of the quarter. Student teams also presented their work to the community partner. In addition to the final drawings and presentation, students were graded on an individual reflection paper about the design process and given peer evaluations to grade how the team worked together. Because drafting classes (e.g., AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks) are common among many engineering disciplines, this approach is seen as a model of how CE may be incorporated easily into many engineering programs. In addition to explaining the course design, this paper presents summative reflections from the professor, a community partner, and the Center for Community Engagement coordinator about successes and failures with respect to these projects. These reflections are provided as learning opportunities to help others implement graphics-based CE projects. As a work in progress, this paper only addresses the course design and reflection on implementation and does not focus on student learning or perceptions.

Canney, N. E., & O'Brien, E., & Callahan, T. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Using Community Engagement to Teach Drafting Software to Civil Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30377

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