Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-12214-155616


Document Typedissertation
Author NameWeir, Jennifer Anne
URNetd-12214-155616
TitleActive Learning in Transportation Engineering Education
DegreePhD
DepartmentCivil & Environmental Engineering
Advisors
  • Malcolm H. Ray, Advisor
  • Leonard D. Albano, Committee Member
  • Judith E. Miller, Committee Member
  • Frederick L. Hart, Department Head
  • Keywords
  • engineering education
  • traffic engineering
  • active learning
  • transportation engineering
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2004-12-16
    Availability unrestricted

    Abstract

    The objectives of this research were (1) to develop experimental active-based-learning curricula for undergraduate courses in transportation engineering and (2) to assess the effectiveness of an active-learning-based traffic engineering curriculum through an educational experiment. The researcher developed a new highway design course as a pilot study to test selected active-learning techniques before employing them in the traffic engineering curriculum. Active-learning techniques, including multiple-choice questions, short problems completed by individual students or small groups, and group discussions, were used as active interludes within lectures. The researcher also collected and analyzed student performance and attitude data from control and experimental classes to evaluate the relative effectiveness of the traditional lecture (control) approach and the active-learning (experimental) approach.

    The results indicate that the active-learning approach adopted for the experimental class did have a positive impact on student performance as measured by exam scores. The students in the experimental class also indicated slightly more positive attitudes at the end of the course than the control class, although the difference was not significant. The author recommends that active interludes similar to those in the experimental curricula be used in other courses in civil engineering.

    Files
  • 1jweir-final.pdf
  • 2jweir.pdf

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