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History and Heritage as a Vehicle for Contemporary Issues

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.847.1 - 26.847.22



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Paper Authors


Douglas G Schmucker University of Utah

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Dr. Schmucker has 15 years experience focused on high quality teaching following the T4E, ExCEEd, and NETI teaching models. A full-time teaching professional, he focuses on practice, project, and problem-based teaching methodologies.

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Steven J. Burian University of Utah

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History and Heritage as a Vehicle for Contemporary IssuesAt the University of XXXX, students interested in civil and environmental engineering enroll inan introductory course with a twist: achievement of selected BOK outcomes are achieved via thevehicle of a major civil engineering history and heritage project. In particular, contemporaryissues, leadership, ethics, and the broader interactions of society and engineering are developedby going “Back to the Future.” Common goals of an introductory course remain: building cohortand departmental community, introducing students to relevant campus and professionalorganizations, and acclimating students to university life. These goals are supported by twoprimary projects. The instructor selects a central, significant project or event to anchor thecourse such as the Panama Canal or the Great Flood of 1927 on the lower Mississippi River.That project not only introduces the students to a large variety of topics, it also provides a rolemodel and example by which student groups then research and present another historic project.Student activities throughout the course are designed to not only create positive engagement inthe course material but are also specifically designed to enable measurement (assessment) ofstudent achievement. Integral elements include student presentations (written and oral),incorporation of leadership and ethics, discussion of the broader interactions of society andengineering practice, and a professional practice perspective of civil engineering projects. Thispaper discusses assessment of the top-down design of the course and assessment measures, howthis course fits into a larger BOK-inspired program (a structure that has been in place for nearly15 years), and presents the analysis of student deliverables including direct and indirectmethods.

Schmucker, D. G., & Burian, S. J. (2015, June), History and Heritage as a Vehicle for Contemporary Issues Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24184

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