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Enhancing Student Learning by Providing a Failure Risk-free Environment and Experiential Learning Opportunities

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Creating a Positive Environment for Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30429

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

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Stephen J. Phillips University of Waterloo

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Graduate student studying civil engineering at the University of Waterloo.

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Kayleanna Giesinger University of Waterloo

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Kayleanna is a third year Undergraduate student in Environmental Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. She has been involved in extensive engineering education research with Professor Rania Al-Hammoud through applying to grants and helping with events. She is very passionate about the future of education.

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Rania Al-Hammoud P.Eng. University of Waterloo

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Dr. Al-Hammoud is a Faculty lecturer (Graduate Attributes) in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Al-Hammoud has a passion for teaching where she continuously seeks new technologies to involve students in their learning process. She is actively involved in the Ideas Clinic, a major experiential learning initiative at the University of Waterloo. She is also responsible for developing a process and assessing graduate attributes at the department to target areas for improvement in the curriculum. This resulted in several publications in this educational research areas.
Dr. Al-Hammoud won the "Ameet and Meena Chakma award for exceptional teaching by a student” in 2014 and the "Engineering Society Teaching Award" in 2016 from University of Waterloo. Her students regard her as an innovative teacher who continuously introduces new ideas to the classroom that increases their engagement.

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Scott Walbridge

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Scott Walbridge has been a structural engineering professor in the University of Waterloo's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2006. Prior to that, he completed his doctoral studies at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Alberta. Between his master's and doctoral studies, he worked as a structural engineering consultant for 2.5 years in Edmonton, Canada.

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Chris Carroll Saint Louis University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9250-8503

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Dr. Carroll is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Saint Louis University. His experimental research interests focus on reinforced and prestressed concrete, while his engineering education research interests focus on experiential learning at both the university and K-12 levels. Dr. Carroll serves as a voting member on ACI Committee S802 - Teaching Methods and Educational Materials and is Chair of the Career Guidance Committee for the ASCE - St. Louis Section. He has eight years of formal experience with K-12 engineering education.

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Abstract

In second year civil engineering, students participate in a horizontally integrated bridge design project to increase their exposure to engineering application and prepare for their fourth-year design project. To compliment this project, a two-day event called CivE Days was implemented. This event freed students from classes and deadlines and allowed them to completely immerse themselves in a simulated bridge design project. The set-up of the event is split into four stages: preliminary design, bridge construction, bridge testing and project reflection. Learning takes place through a combination of experiential learning, group work, reflective learning, and learning from failure. All of these pedagogical approaches promote a deeper level of learning for students and enhance knowledge retention in upper years. The event was not graded to allow students to experiment and learn in a stress-free environment. This provided a positive atmosphere where design creativity was encouraged without fear of failure. The effectiveness of the CivE Days initiative was evaluated through the final bridge project testing results, final bridge project report marks, and surveys submitted at the end of the CivE Days event. The bridge project grades and testing results for students who participated in CivE Days was compared to the bridge project grades and testing results for a control class who did not have the opportunity to participate in the CivE Days event. It was found that student grades and performance improved, indicating a better understanding of the bridge design project and how the information from the different courses are integrated.

Phillips, S. J., & Giesinger, K., & Al-Hammoud, R., & Walbridge, S., & Carroll, C. (2018, June), Enhancing Student Learning by Providing a Failure Risk-free Environment and Experiential Learning Opportunities Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30429

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