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Incorporation Of Distance Engineering Into An Introductory Freshman Undergraduate Course In Civil Engineering

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Conference

1998 Annual Conference

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Impact of Information Technology on Engineering Education (3215)

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering (CE)

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

3.332.1 - 3.332.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/7183

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

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Tahar El-Korchi Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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TAHAR EL-KORCHI is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His areas of specialization are in materials engineering. In addition to CE 1030, he teaches courses on topics relating to strengths of materials, pavement design, and laboratory methods in materials engineering.

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Paul P. Mathisen Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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PAUL P. MATHISEN is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His areas of specialization are in environmental engineering and water resources. In addition to CE 1030, he teaches courses on topics relating to fluid mechanics, hydrology, and transport processes in the environment.

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Frederick L. Hart Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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FREDERICK L. HART is a professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His areas of specialization are in environmental engineering. In addition to CE 1030, he teaches courses on topics relating to computer aided design, water treatment, and water distribution systems.

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Abstract

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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