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Student Centered Evaluation Of A Gis Laboratory In Transportation Engineering

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Enhancing CE Learning Through Use of Technology

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1114.1 - 15.1114.16



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Paper Authors


Ghulam Bham Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Dr. Ghulam Bham is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the Missouri University of Science & Technology. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003. His research interests include modeling and simulation of driver behavior in transportation systems, traffic operations and control, and traffic safety.

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Dan Cernusca Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Dr. Dan Cernusca is Instructional Design Specialist in the Department of Global Learning at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies in 2007 from University of Missouri – Columbia. He also holds a BS and a Ph.D. from the University of Sibiu, Romania with a specialization in manufacturing technologies and respectively cutting-tools design. His research interests include Design-Based Research in technology-enabled learning contexts, technology-mediated problem solving, assessment in technology rich learning environments, applications of dynamic modeling for learning of complex topics, and the impact of epistemic beliefs on learning with technology.

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Uday Manepalli Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Uday R R Manepalli is a graduate student of Civil Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. His research interests are GIS applications in civil engineering especially traffic safety with emphasis on statistical analysis of crash data and identification of high crash locations.

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Ronaldo Luna Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Dr. Ronaldo Luna is an associate professor of Civil Engineering at the Missouri S&T, Rolla. He received
his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995. His research interests include: engineering
education, geotechnical and earthquake engineering, and hazard mitigation.

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

Student-Centered Evaluation of a GIS Laboratory in Transportation Engineering


This paper focuses on the implementation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) based transportation module part of a web-based learning system for civil engineering students. This project introduces a series of GIS laboratories customized for specific courses throughout the civil engineering curriculum. This exploratory research presents the results of a student-centered evaluation of the laboratory introduced in a required introductory transportation course. Results showed that students exposed to a 20-minute lecture on traffic safety before starting the laboratory scored significantly higher than the control group on assessment items. The student- centered reflective questions indicated also some weaknesses and associated potential actions to improve the GIS based module. Based on these findings a series of changes to the current tasks in the GIS laboratory were planned.


Transportation Education and Training, Traffic Safety, Crash Data, Geographic Information Systems


The education and practice of transportation engineering has evolved over the past several decades. The task of transportation education, as stated by an Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Committee1, is not only “to train students in how to do various activities associated with current practice”, but also “to provide students with the tools necessary to solve new problems that arise”. Previous studies, on the other hand, reveal the hourly requirement of transportation-related courses in the civil engineering curriculum offered for undergraduate students as decreasing2,3 and entry-level engineers lack significant exposure to transportation engineering methodologies2. In terms of practice, young graduates face a wide range of increasingly complicated problems from growing congestion, heightened awareness of traffic safety and worsening air quality to environmental preservation and social equity concerns4.

In a survey4 of 360 participants of transportation engineering and planning courses offered at US universities, while assessing the match between the knowledge (topics) and the skills needed for current transportation planning jobs and those covered by their formal degree programs, respondents indicated that their degree programs did not provide enough exposure to any of the 20 skill areas surveyed in the study. In the skills category, GIS received the lowest average rating for coverage. When the topic and skills most in need of additional attention were assessed for transportation planning education, again GIS was identified as one of the top priority skills. The study also showed a greater deficiency in the development of skills than in the coverage of topics in academic programs. This clearly showed the need for inclusion of GIS in civil engineering curriculum especially for transportation planners.

Bham, G., & Cernusca, D., & Manepalli, U., & Luna, R. (2010, June), Student Centered Evaluation Of A Gis Laboratory In Transportation Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16195

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