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International Collaboration For Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory Exercises

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Challenges of CE Education in a Global World

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.789.1 - 13.789.12



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Paper Authors


James Hanson California Polytechnic State University

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Jim Hanson is an Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University. He is past chair of the Civil Engineering Division of ASEE. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and taught at Lawrence Technological University for 9 years before joining the faculty at Cal Poly.

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Senro Kuraoka Nippon Koei Co., Ltd.

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Senro Kuraoka is Senior Researcher at the Research and Development Center at Nippon Koei Co., Ltd. in Japan. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and was a Research Associate at the National Research Council of Canada before joining Nippon Koei. His expertise includes numerical modeling, rockfall analysis and mitigation, and general geomechanical analyses.

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

International Collaboration for Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory Exercises


The project described in this paper is a collaborative effort between California Polytechnic State University and Nippon Koei Co., Ltd. based in Tokyo, Japan. The collaboration was established for the Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory course at the University. Video and telephone conferencing were conducted between Nippon Koei offices and the classroom. The conferencing activities included a tour of laboratory facilities at the company and discussion of specific current geotechnical engineering projects. A laboratory assignment was developed for which Nippon Koei served as an external client. The client requested geotechnical testing to be completed by a consulting firm that consisted of the students. Students were required to reply to the client using an unconventional laboratory report format that included written and video components. The students were observed to be more careful with experimental procedures when videotaping themselves during testing than conducting tests in a conventional laboratory session. Cross-cultural discussions at a professional level provided appreciation for standardized testing methods, the importance of research in civil engineering practice, and differences in approaching design problems in different countries. Reports submitted to an external client provided incentive for strong student performance. The new teaching methodologies described in this paper (global video-conferencing with an overseas practitioner and development of laboratory assignments as short films) are well suited for teaching softer aspects of the BOK related to development of broad communication skills and providing global context for engineering problems. Experiences, challenges, and opportunities associated with this teaching methodologies are described in the paper. Description of formal assessment plans is also provided in the paper.

Introduction and Background

A teaching method incorporating novel use of video conferencing and video production of laboratory reports was investigated. The methods were applied to undergraduate CE382 Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory at California Polytechnic State University. Video conferencing was conducted with a Japanese consultancy/research firm (industrial partner) in association with a new topic for this course. Time was permitted for a formal presentation followed by discussion with the students. The industrial partner assigned a project for the students to complete over the following week. Preparation of laboratory reports as a video production was also investigated in this class. In lieu of submitting a written report, teams were required to produce a film that contained all the typical components of a laboratory report in this new media. This paper provides an overview of the pedagogical rationale for implementing this teaching method, a description of the exercises and student perceptions, suggested modifications for improvement and suggested methods for implementation of similar efforts, and a framework for formal assessment of the further development of these methods.

Hanson, J., & Kuraoka, S. (2008, June), International Collaboration For Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory Exercises Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3916

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