An evaluation of learning of structural engineering concepts during the first two years of a problem-based engineering degree

Molyneaux, T, Setunge, S, Gravina, R and Xie, Y 2007, 'An evaluation of learning of structural engineering concepts during the first two years of a problem-based engineering degree', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 1-8.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title An evaluation of learning of structural engineering concepts during the first two years of a problem-based engineering degree
Author(s) Molyneaux, T
Setunge, S
Gravina, R
Xie, Y
Year 2007
Journal name European Journal of Engineering Education
Volume number 32
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 7
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract In the modern working environment it is essential for a structural engineer to have an understanding of abstract concepts in structural behaviour and an ability to use them qualitatively. This paper presents the findings of a study on how effectively students acquire such conceptual understanding within a new project/design focused degree course. The new degree programme is described. The first-year students experience a mixture of learning opportunities, including model building/testing, laboratories, workshops/tutorials, and lectures. In the second year there are two design exercises but no formal structural theory course. Specific concepts-based learning material was introduced into the first-year course at mid-semester and the effectiveness of this examined by tests and interviews. The performance of the first-year students is compared to that of the second-year students. The findings show that there is good student engagement and satisfaction with the course and that basic skills are successfully being acquired throughout both years. However, the study highlights areas where concepts are not being adequately developed in the first year and subsequently show little enhancement in the second year.
Copyright notice © 2007 Taylor and Francis
ISSN 1469-5898
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