June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Civil engineers at Villanova University are required to take a geology course as part of their undergraduate curriculum. However, engaging and interesting civil engineering students in geology has historically been a challenge. This course provides students with an understanding of geological concepts that will be of use in two later courses, hydraulics and hydrology and soil mechanics. In addition, this course helps to fulfill the math and science ABET requirements. The last third of the course covers geomorphology topics (e.g. hydrologic cycle, landscapes, streams and rivers, floods, groundwater, glaciers, oceans, coasts, and sea level rise). Three years ago the course was converted to a flipped (inverted) format, which motivated the geotechnical and water resources faculty to develop an on-campus geomorphology field trip to better engage students with the material and emphasize the relevance of the course to civil engineering. The geomorphology field trip, which was designed to take 75 minutes, includes eight stops and focuses on anthropogenic and bio-driven morphology. Faculty set the stage for the field trip for 15 minutes, then the class spends 60 minutes exploring the campus. During the field trip, students complete a worksheet and record their observations for each stop. Many aspects of the field trip likely are easily adaptable to other university campuses. The content of the field trip is described in detail, with example photographs of each feature. Results from student surveys regarding students’ perception of the field trip in fall 2018 are presented. Based on the surveys, 100% of the students felt that the field trip improved their overall learning experience, and 97% of the students recommended that the field trip continue to be offered in subsequent years. In addition, the results from a final exam question based on the field trip content and from a similar question administered one year after the field trip are included in the discussion of student learning and retention of the geomorphic content.
Sample-Lord, K. M., & Smith, V., & Gallagher, P., & Welker, A. L. (2019, June), Using Your Campus as a Laboratory: An Adaptable Field Trip on Geomorphology for Engineering Geology Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33523
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