June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
Civil Engineering (CE)
3.332.1 - 3.332.10
This paper presents the results of a pilot study conducted by the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to investigate the impact of distance communication on student project work. An introductory freshman civil engineering course with a project-based collaborative format was modified to incorporate a distance engineering component based on a hypothesized highway design project. Student groups were separated into home and field teams, with home teams playing the role of design engineers located in the office, and the field teams playing the role of field engineers completing required field measurements and calculations. Both home and field teams were located in the civil engineering building, but were physically separated by two floors. The test group only used remote technologies (e.g. telephone, fax, email, file transfer, shared folder, chat, and video- conferencing) for all communication between home and field teams. A control group was allowed unrestricted face-to-face communication between home and field teams. Student performance was assessed by evaluating quizzes, group presentations, and project reports. Interpretations of student performance in terms of personality and cognitive style indicators for both the control and test groups indicated that effective group interactions are a key to the successful completion of integrated projects in a distance engineering environment. Student journals and survey responses indicated that students found the introduction to remote communication technologies to be valuable. The results demonstrate the importance of integrating distance engineering applications and information technology into the undergraduate curriculum.
El-Korchi, T., & Mathisen, P. P., & Hart, F. L. (1998, June), Incorporation Of Distance Engineering Into An Introductory Freshman Undergraduate Course In Civil Engineering Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/7183
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