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Problem Based Learning As Applied To The Construction And Engineering Capstone Course At North Dakota State University

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engr. Educ. II

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.939.1 - 7.939.10



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Paper Authors

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Charles McIntyre

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

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Problem-Based Learning as Applied to the Construction and Engineering Capstone Course at North Dakota State University

Charles McIntyre

Civil Engineering and Construction North Dakota State University


The Department of Civil Engineering and Construction at North Dakota State University consists of two divisions, the Division of Construction Management and Engineering and the Division of Civil Engineering. Prior to 1998, the Department had three separate capstone courses for each degree program (construction engineering, construction management, and civil engineering). During the Spring Semester of 1998, a single overall departmental capstone course was created. The intent was to provide a true “capstone” experience, where students in each degree program could combine their skills to achieve the successful completion of a project. The primary objective of the capstone experience is to combine all aspects of the planning, design, and construction phases of a project into meaningful education experience which mimics “real-world” design and construction practices. Students are required to use all of the knowledge and skills that they have acquired throughout their educational experience to develop the documentation required for actual project construction (design drawings, cost estimates, project schedules, quality and safety plans, etc.). The intent of the capstone experience is to integrate the engineering and management disciplines into a single comprehensive educational experience.

North Dakota State University (NDSU) was the recent recipient of a Bush Grant for providing support and training for NDSU faculty. As part of that grant, the “Faculty Institute for Excellence in Learning” (FIEL) was created. The author was selected as a FIEL “Fellow” and subsequently submitted a proposal and received funding to apply a problem-based learning approach to the departmental capstone course. During the summer of 2001, the capstone course was revised and restructured to meet the primary objective of the course. The basic philosophy, format, evaluation and assessment of the course came into question. The contents of this paper, 1.) describe some of the philosophical questions that had to be addressed, 2.) provide an overview of problem-based learning, 3.) explain the revised course content and delivery systems, and 4.) provide an explanation of the techniques used to evaluate student work and provide course assessment.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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McIntyre, C. (2002, June), Problem Based Learning As Applied To The Construction And Engineering Capstone Course At North Dakota State University Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10117

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