American Society of Civil Engineers


Teaching Tools to Promote Active Learning: Case Study


by N. Nirmalakhandan, (Prof., Civ. and Geological Engrg. Dept., New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001), C. Ricketts, (Assoc. Prof., Engrg. Technol. Dept., New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001), J. McShannon, (Assoc. Dir., NM Space Grant Consortium, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001), and S. Barrett, (Res. Assoc., NM Space Grant Consortium, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001)

Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 133, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 31-37, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2007)133:1(31))

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: In this case study, we present a teaching approach that promotes active learning in engineering classes. Students are provided with a combination of physical, mathematical, and computer simulation models that allow them to participate, act, react, and reflect, rather than just listen to lectures, as in traditional classes. We illustrate important aspects of our pedagogy with one of 12 modules that have been implemented in an undergraduate hydraulic engineering course. Student evaluations indicate that this approach is appealing to most students. Data are presented to show that this approach has contributed to improved student learning and achievement.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
Computer models
Computer software
Engineering education
Mathematical models
Physical properties
Simulation models