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Title: Engaging Civil Engineering Students by Exposing them to a “Capstone-like” Experience in their Sophomore Year: A Case Study
As part of a National Science Foundation-funded initiative to completely transform the civil engineering undergraduate program at Clemson University, a capstone-like course sequence is being incorporated into the curriculum during the sophomore year. Clemson’s NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) program is called the Arch Initiative. Just as springers serve as the foundation stones of an arch, the new courses are called “Springers” because they serve as the foundations of the transformed curriculum. Through a project-based learning approach, Springer courses mimic the senior capstone experience by immersing students in a semester-long practical application of civil engineering, exposing them to concepts and tools in a way that challenges students to develop new knowledge that they will build on and use during their junior and senior years. In the 2019 spring semester, a pilot of the first Springer course introduced students to three civil engineering sub-disciplines: construction management, water resources, and transportation. The remaining sub-disciplines are covered in a follow-on Springer 2 pilot. The purpose of this paper is to describe all aspects of the Springer 1 course, including course content, teaching methods, faculty resources, and the design and results of a Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) survey to assess students’ learning outcomes. The more » feedback from the SALG indicated positive attitudes towards course activities and content. Challenges for full-scale implementation of the Springer course sequence as a requirement in the transformed curriculum are also discussed. « less
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
1730576
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10168778
Journal Name:
2020 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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