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Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills Of Civil Engineering Students Through Supplemental Instruction

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

How to Effectively Teach Using Teams

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

12.664.1 - 12.664.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1991

Download Count

698

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Paper Authors

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Ricardo Jacquez New Mexico State University

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Regents Professor of Civil Engineering

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Veera Gnaneswar Gude New Mexico State University

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Doctoral Graduate Assistant, Environmental Engineering

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Adrian Hanson New Mexico State University

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Professor of Civl Engineering

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Michele Auzenne New Mexico State University

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Program manager, New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation

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Sarah Williamson New Mexico State University

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Undergraduate research assistant

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

1

Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills of Civil Engineering Students Through Collaborative Learning Methods in Supplemental Instruction

Abstract

Supplemental instruction in civil engineering curriculum has been conducted at New Mexico State University since spring 2003. The SI session is designed to develop critical thinking skills of the students by applying collaborative learning methods. The SI session meets once per week to resolve student’s questions in the topics of domestic water and wastewater treatment. Prior to meeting in the SI session, students submit questions on the engineering and design concepts discussed within the previous week of class. Active learning in the classroom and self-directed learning outside of class create opportunities for the students to identify questions which can be resolved in the SI session. Students follow a set of steps to develop proper questions and find solutions to their own questions by applying critical thinking skills. The course also requires the students to exercise critical thinking skills as it involves design oriented open-ended problem solving. The student improvement through the SI sessions has been monitored for three consecutive semesters. Comparisons have been made between the SI group and non-SI group students in terms of academic performance throughout the semester. Bloom’s levels of learning have been considered to measure the student learning through critical thinking exercises. It has been observed that SI participants have performed better than others in monitoring work examples. Also the SI group earned better grades than the non-SI group in the class.

Introduction

“Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering” is a junior course taught in the Civil Engineering department at New Mexico State University. General course objectives are to learn and apply the engineering design process and develop and apply skills used by successful practicing professional engineers, including critical (reflective) thinking, communication, and documentation. This course teaches the fundamental civil- environmental engineering principles for design of conventional domestic water treatment and wastewater treatment systems. One of the primary learning objectives of the course is for students to be able to apply fundamental civil-environmental engineering principles and perform fundamental calculations for designing water treatment (physical- chemical treatment) and wastewater treatment (physical and biological treatment) systems. Design problems are used to demonstrate application of these principles and to create opportunities to comprehend and analyze conventional treatment alternatives. The depth to which the topics are covered is intended to develop comprehension of theories and concepts and analytical techniques required to successfully complete the design analysis and documentation for a facility preliminary engineering report as typically performed by a professional consulting engineering firm. The course builds on knowledge acquired in two pre-requisite courses, “Environmental Science” and “Introduction to Fluid Mechanics,” and develops new skills which are specifically

Jacquez, R., & Gude, V. G., & Hanson, A., & Auzenne, M., & Williamson, S. (2007, June), Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills Of Civil Engineering Students Through Supplemental Instruction Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1991

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