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Redesigning The Transportation Course To Incorporate Team Oriented, Project Based Field Assignments

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Civil ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1064.1 - 10.1064.9



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Paper Authors

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Maher Murad

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

Session 3248

Redesigning the Transportation Course to Incorporate Team-Oriented, Project-Based Field Assignments Maher M. Murad University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


Part of a continuous improvement process, the Civil Engineering Technology (CET) Department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has reviewed its 4-year program curriculum to ensure that the curriculum not only meets accreditation requirements, but also meets the demands of the industry. As a result of the review process, the transportation course became a required course at the junior level for all civil engineering technology students. The course credit hours were increased to 4 semester credit hours to allow for developing a laboratory component for the course.

The use of lab assignments in the transportation course allowed students to get hands-on experience and training in conducting transportation studies utilizing the latest standards employed in the industry. The lab also enabled the instructor to use open-ended problems such that members of each team can search for feasible solutions that meet specific guidelines. Different teams may end up with different analysis results or design solutions. Feedback from students indicated their appreciation for integrating the lab assignments into the course.

This paper describes the pedagogical aspects of redesigning the transportation course and the positive impact it had on teaching the course and on the CET curriculum. The course outcomes and the components of the lab assignments are presented and discussed. Feedback from students is also analyzed and discussed. The experience gained from the process of redesigning the course may provide useful guidance to those considering ways to develop a course in transportation that meets both ABET criteria and industry demands.


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown offers a 4-year B.S. degree in Civil Engineering Technology (CET). The program has five areas of concentration: Construction, Environmental, Management, Structural / Foundation, and Transportation. The curriculum of at least one of the concentration areas must be completed in order for a student to graduate from the program. The current curriculum for students electing to concentrate on Transportation includes three required courses: Elementary Surveying, Civil Computations (computer applications of surveying), and Transportation. In addition, students focusing on transportation are expected to take two more courses offered to students as technical electives: Highway Surveying and Design and Pavement Design and Management. A CET graduate with concentration in the area of transportation is likely to be involved in one or more of the five major areas: planning, design (geometric and pavement), construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation facilities.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Murad, M. (2005, June), Redesigning The Transportation Course To Incorporate Team Oriented, Project Based Field Assignments Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14363

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