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Java And Vrml Based Interactive Reinforced Concrete Design Course Studio

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.414.1 - 5.414.10



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Paper Authors

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Yoganand Gandlur

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Selvan Duraimurugar

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Mohammed Enamul Haque

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Amarneethi Vamadevan

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

Session 683

JAVA and VRML based Interactive Reinforced Concrete Design Course Studio

Mohammed E. Haque, Amarneethi Vamadevan, Selvan Duraimurugar, and Yoganand Gandlur

Western Michigan University, Michigan 49008


The teaching of reinforced concrete design for undergraduate students presents a major challenge to the civil engineering instructors because of the need to instill creative and innovative attitudes within a discipline of physical behavior. Conventional instructor-based approaches to teaching do not lend themselves to open-ended problem solving in reinforced concrete design due to some identifiable difficulties. The main difficulties are lack of teaching aid to clearly explain the complexities of the various structural design principles, inability of individualized tutoring and inadequate or non-existent of visual learning environment, and inability to inspire students to interactively study structural design concepts. The teaching methodology presented in this paper is based on presenting students with an individualized, interactive and guided learning environment. The main elements of this approach are: a means of assimilating the students interactive learning knowledge and behavior (user model), representation of the instructor’ s guidance and assessment knowledge (tutor model), utilization of motivational techniques such as multimedia, animation (visual model) and navigation of designed model (VRML model). Several principles are taken into consideration when designing such learning environment. These include the structuring of the courseware material with respect to the content, presentation, modularity, identifying and utilizing the teaching strategies involved in the learning process. The approach adopted in this research is that of intelligent interactive learning environment, which is developed, using VRML and Java programming languages. This contains basic interrelated definitions (concepts), various diagrams of structural behaviors such as stress and strain diagrams, procedures and VRML using Java applets for dynamic structural design. Although the presented approach is being applied to reinforced concrete design, it employs a generic architecture, which is discipline independent and may be adapted to any other similar domain which will certainly promote and enhance students’understanding.

I. Introduction

Construction related reinforced concrete design education demands the accumulation of a large amount of complex technical knowledge from the students. Currently this is largely effected through a traditional lecture format with the main principle being that of information transfer. Clearly, whatever knowledge “traditional” teaching methods may have imparted, they have frequently failed to produce design understanding1. There is a range of problems in this method of instruction. Some of the problems experienced and cited are as follows:

Gandlur, Y., & Duraimurugar, S., & Haque, M. E., & Vamadevan, A. (2000, June), Java And Vrml Based Interactive Reinforced Concrete Design Course Studio Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8521

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