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Redesigning A Construction Materials Course To Promote Lifelong Learning

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Technical Issues in Arch Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.978.1 - 8.978.16



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Paper Authors

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Carol Diggelman

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Michael McGeen

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

Session 2306


Carol Diggelman, PhD Milwaukee School of Engineering Michael J. McGeen, A.I.A. Milwaukee School of Engineering


Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) degree-granting engineering programs were required, by our administration, to reduce the total number of credits required for graduation. To reduce the total number of credits in Architectural Engineering (AE&BC) programs, we redesigned three existing AE&BC courses—a three-credit materials and methods survey course, a one-credit materials and methods lab, and a three-credit chemistry of building materials course into one four-credit freshman course. The primary goal of this new course is to introduce students to materials (unique origins, chemistry, properties, standards, industry applications and trade associations) used in the construction industry, including metals (iron and steel, aluminum, copper), inorganics (aggregate, concrete, masonry, gypsum) and molecular materials (wood, asphalt, plastics). A related goal is to introduce students to research and communication skills that will enable them to access technical information on materials, evaluate that information for quality, summarize findings concisely and communicate those findings both in writing and orally, skills essential for academic success, as well as for life long learning. The new course includes a traditional lecture component (lectures, exams, portfolio), a laboratory component (based on current ASTM standards) and a research project (on a topic of the student’s interest). Determining course content involved systematically combining the content of the existing courses for each of the building materials, emphasizing materials science content; identifying relevant ASTM standards, trade association web sites and information sources; and addressing ABET requirements and FE exam requirements. From a day-by-day topic outline, faculty stakeholders, who teach advanced courses, and seniors, who have taken existing courses, were asked to prioritize topics. Based on feedback, we dropped some topics and emphasized others. Course development is ongoing and will also address faculty development and delivery at a level appropriate for freshmen.

1.0. Background Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) is a private, coeducational nonsectarian university located in a metropolitan center. It provides a balanced education -- undergraduate and graduate -- for men and women in the disciplines of engineering,

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Diggelman, C., & McGeen, M. (2003, June), Redesigning A Construction Materials Course To Promote Lifelong Learning Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11473

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