June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1326.1 - 15.1326.9
Using History to Reinforce Ethics and Equilibrium Abstract
The American Society of Civil Engineers in the 2nd edition of the “Body of Knowledge” (BOK2) document identify the level of achievement for outcome 11 (Contemporary Issues and Historical Perspectives) as:
Analyze the impact of historical and contemporary issues on the identification, formulation, and solution of engineering problems and analyze the impact of engineering solutions on the economy, environment, political landscape, and society.
This is not an outcome that is readily achieved in most civil engineering undergraduate classes when taught in their traditional format. To address this, the author decided to introduce a segment into each offering of two different classes, the classes being statics and bridge engineering. The statics class is taught twice a week over a semester (15 weeks) and the bridge engineering class is taught one evening a week, again over a semester.
In both classes a segment was introduced entitled “Bridge of the Day” comprising a brief presentation (albeit somewhat more detailed in the bridge engineering class) on a famous bridge. In the bridge engineering class, a second presentation was also given entitled “Bridge Failure of the Day” in which a bridge failure (which was not always a bridge collapse) was discussed.
This paper explores the value of these segments both at addressing outcome 11 of the BOK2 and at improving students understanding of the mechanics involved in the two classes.
There has been a clear understanding developing over the past decade and longer that the methods of teaching engineering need to change1. One aspect of this has been the changes in the accreditation requirements of ABET2. Additionally, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed a number of documents describing the body of knowledge that a civil engineer needs in order to be able to practice civil engineering effectively. Most recently, in the 2nd edition of the “Body of Knowledge” (BOK2)3 the required knowledge has been expressed, in part, as a number of outcomes that must be satisfied by students upon their graduation. These outcomes are expressed in terms of Bloom’s Taxonomy4 and also identify the level of achievement required. For outcome 11 (Contemporary Issues and Historical Perspectives) this required achievement is expressed as:
Analyze the impact of historical and contemporary issues on the identification, formulation, and solution of engineering problems and analyze the impact of
Nixon, W. (2010, June), Using History To Reinforce Ethics And Equilibrium Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16194
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