Integrating Design Throughout The Civil Engineering Curriculum The Sooner City Project

M. A. Mooney, K. K. Muraleetharan, H. Gruenwald, B. E. Vieux, Randall L. Kolar
1998 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
Evaluations of existing undergraduate engineering programs continually cite three weaknesses: graduates lack technical literacy; graduates lack oral and written communication skills; and graduates lack design experience. To address these weaknesses, the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science (CEES) at the University of Oklahoma, is proposing a systemic reform initiative that will incorporate four themes throughout the curriculum. The centerpiece of the initiative is a common
more » ... n project, entitled $Sooner City,# that will be introduced during the freshman year and continue for the entire curriculum. Design tasks range from population estimates to the water supply system. A common design project can unify the curriculum and allow material learned in early courses to carry forward. Another advantage is that the students will have a professional design portfolio that can be presented to perspective employers. Second, the design project will be taught using the just-in-time learning paradigm. By focusing on real-world applications up front, students will be interested and motivated to learn. Third, courses will be restructured to incorporate team learning and group presentations, which enhances the students interpersonal and communication skills. Fourth, starting in Fall 1998, all incoming engineering freshman will have a laptop computer with wireless communication technology so that each classroom becomes a networked computer lab. Together, the efforts will produce graduates who are self-disciplined, responsible, computer literate, and who can communicate effectively with fellow engineers, management, and the public. Also, the reformed curriculum can serve as a template for other reform efforts around the country, with an obvious name change for the city!
doi:10.18260/1-2--7209 fatcat:glrr47lnvbexpg5k4pevnmjvxq