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Work In Progress: Development, Implementation, And Preliminary Assessment Of An Introduction To Infrastructure Course

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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

Innovations in Civil Engineering Education III

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1381.1 - 15.1381.22



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Paper Authors

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Matthew Roberts University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Philip Parker University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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Michael Thompson University of Wisconsin, Platteville

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

Work in Progress: Development, Implementation, and Preliminary Assessment of an Introduction to Infrastructure Engineering Course

Abstract An “Introduction to Infrastructure Engineering” course has been developed in the Civil and En- vironmental Engineering Department at The University of Wisconsin—Platteville. The course is intended for sophomore students and serves two main purposes in the curriculum: 1. To introduce the students to civil engineering and the subdisciplines, and 2. To begin the development of an awareness of infrastructure and the challenges facing the United States with respect to infrastructure overcapacity and degradation. Details of efforts to incorporate exemplary teaching materials in the course development are pre- sented and the content of the course is outlined. As part of the course, students will be complet- ing an infrastructure assessment assignment inspired by the “Report Card for America’s Infra- structure”1 produced by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Assessment of student learn- ing from the course will be presented at the conference. The course was developed as part of a National Science Foundation grant in the Course, Curricu- lum, and Laboratory Improvement program. The course was piloted in Spring 2010. Prelimi- nary assessment efforts from this pilot offering will be presented at the conference and feedback will be sought from conference participants to help the researchers on the project. Background The University of Wisconsin—Platteville (UWP) is a four year comprehensive public university enrolling 6,700 undergraduates with 2,100 students in the college of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. The university is best known for its engineering programs, which include Civil, Environmental, Mechanical, Industrial, Electrical, Software, and Engineering Physics. There are 240 students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, which offers two degrees: Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering. The program has averaged 61 gra- duates per year over the past 40 years. The existing CEE curriculum at UWP is very conven- tional. Students complete basic mathematics, science and general engineering courses in the first two years followed by civil and environmental engineering courses in the remainder of their stu- dies. In 2006, several faculty members of the CEE Department received a planning grant under the (now defunct) Department Level Reform (DLR) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). In reviewing the existing CEE curriculum for this proposal, it became clear that the cur- riculum had not changed much in the previous 20 years. The planning grant was used to plan an overhaul of the curriculum and infuse an infrastructure theme throughout. The DLR program included implementation grants that could be used to carry out the work done in the planning grant. Unfortunately, the DLR program was discontinued before an implementa- tion grant proposal could be submitted by the CEE department faculty. In order to receive fund-

Roberts, M., & Parker, P., & Thompson, M. (2010, June), Work In Progress: Development, Implementation, And Preliminary Assessment Of An Introduction To Infrastructure Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16041

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