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Supporting Engineering Education with Instructional Design: The Case of an Introductory Module on Biogeotechnical Engineering

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Collection

2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting

Location

Tempe, Arizona

Publication Date

April 20, 2017

Start Date

April 20, 2017

End Date

April 22, 2017

Conference Session

Technical Session 1d

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Pacific Southwest Section

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29236

Download Count

48

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Paper Authors

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Medha Dalal Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5705-1800

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Medha Dalal is currently a doctoral student in the Learning, Literacies and Technologies program at Arizona State University. She received her master’s degree in Computer Science from Polytechnic University, New York. Medha has been working as a research assistant at the Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics. Prior to joining the doctoral program, Medha was teaching Computer Science and Information Science classes at an engineering institute in Bangalore, India. Her research interests include hybrid/blended learning for engineering education; pedagogy of technology integration and cognitive and motivational processes of learning.

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Jean S Larson Arizona State University

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Jean Larson has a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, postgraduate training in Computer Systems Engineering, and many years of experience teaching and developing curriculum in various learning environments. She has taught technology integration and teacher training to undergraduate and graduate students at Arizona State University, students at the K-12 level locally and abroad, and various workshops and modules in business and industry. Dr. Larson is experienced in the application of instructional design, delivery, evaluation, and specializes in eLearning technologies for training and development. Her research interests focus on efficient and effective online learning, and how instructors are prepared to teach in digital environments. She coordinates outreach events for the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG) with local school districts and organizations, various centers on the ASU campus, and summer programs for teachers, high school students and undergraduates. She also develops CBBG curriculum for learners at the K-12, college, and professional development levels.

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Claudia Elena Zapata Arizona State University

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Dr. Zapata is a recognized expert in the characterization and modeling of fluid flow and volume change behavior of arid and semi-arid (unsaturated) soil mechanics. She is the author of more than 40 technical publications and multiple research reports in the areas of unsaturated soil mechanics, environmental effects in pavement design, and unbound material characterization. While Dr. Zapata possesses an excellent analytical and theoretical background in these areas, she has also significant experience in laboratory testing and instrumentation of resilient modulus and unsaturated soil characterization. Her contributions to pavement design has allowed for practical implementation of novel and complex approaches to fluid flow theory on unsaturated porous materials.

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Wilhelmina C. Savenye Arizona State University

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Dr. Wilhelmina "Willi" C. Savenye is a professor of Learning Design and Technologies in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University and the Education Director for the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-Inspired Geotechnics. She previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin and San Diego State University. She earned her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Technology from ASU, and B.A/ in Anthropology from the University of Washington. Dr. Savenye focuses on instructional design and evaluation of technology-based and online learning systems, employing both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Her recent work is in the area of engineering education and STEM. She has published over 70 articles and book chapters; made over 140 conference presentations and workshops in the U.S., Europe and Asia; been awarded numerous grants, and has produced many digital learning programs. She serves as Editor of the Journal of Applied Instructional Design. She has served on the editorial boards of journals including Educational Technology: Research and Development and the Quarterly Review of Distance Education, and reviews for additional journals. She serves on the editorial board for the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology and has held elected leadership positions. Dr. Savenye’s instructional design and evaluation work has been conducted in such diverse settings as school districts, museums, botanical gardens, zoos, universities, corporations, and Army tank maintenance training.

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Edward Kavazanjian Jr. Arizona State University

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Professor Kavazanjian is a Regents Professor and the Ira A. Fulton Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). He is also Director of the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, a National Science Foundation Gen-3 Engineering Research Center. He has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from M.I.T. and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in Civil Engineering, specializing in Geotechnical Engineering. He was on the faculty at Stanford University for 7 years and then spent 20 years in engineering practice before joining the faculty at ASU in 2004. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013 for his work on the mechanical properties of municipal solid waste, analysis and design of waste containment systems, and geotechnical earthquake engineering. He is a past-President of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, representing the 11,000+ geotechnical engineers that are members of ASCE.

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Nasser Hamdan Center for Bio-mediated & Bio-inspired Geotechnics

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Abstract

This work describes the instructional design process used to create an introductory module on biogeotechnical engineering. Biogeotechnical engineering is an emerging subfield of geotechnical engineering that involves applying biochemical reactions or biological mechanisms found in nature to design and build more sustainable civil systems. The module was developed by an interdisciplinary team of engineering and education faculty working together at a NSF-funded Engineering Research Center. The center was established with the goal of learning from nature to transform the engineering of geotechnical systems to address infrastructure-related challenges using biogeotechnics. In order to disseminate the extensive research conducted at the center to student populations, we created a customizable, 60 to 90 minutes long lecture that civil engineering instructors can readily incorporate into their current curriculum. The emphasis of the module is to raise awareness about the field of biogeotechnics among freshman engineering students, with the ultimate aim of motivating them to consider degrees, and eventually careers in biogeotechnical engineering. The module uses direct instruction, multi-media, group discussion, and reflection activities to cover technical topics including the link between nature and sustainable engineering, fundamental principle behind biogeotechnics, and an overview of bio-inspired and bio-mediated geotechnical processes. In addition, to further spark student interest and motivation, the module also includes informative slides on geotechnical career trends as well as future research and career options for undergraduate students in the field.

We used van Merriënboer’s Four Component Instructional Design (4c/ID) model as the design base since the 4c/ID model addresses the issue of teaching complex skills that can be applied to real-world problems. In addition, to promote deeper learning the instructional slides and learning activities were designed to align with Merrill’s first five principles of instruction. The current work describes how we applied the principles of learning theories and instructional design to provide an introduction to a complex engineering domain. We emphasize that the aim of this work is not to examine the results of the instructional delivery of the module per se, but to describe the instructional design process we followed to develop the material.

Finally, the paper addresses a few critical issues related to building engaging and effective content for incoming students. The promising instructional design strategies outlined here could be generalized and applied to other domains.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015