An engineering and educational technology team approach to introducing new unsaturated soils mechanics material into introductory undergraduate geotechnical engineering courses

Arthur Ornelas, John Sadauskas, Sandra Houston, Wilhelmina Savenye, Eddy Ramirez, Claudia Zapata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The undergraduate geotechnical engineering introductory course has not been significantly modified in decades in U.S. universities, and to date, there is no significant coverage of unsaturated soil mechanics. Meanwhile, 74% of U.S. geotechnical faculty respondents to a recent survey indicated that unsaturated soils mechanics should be introduced at the undergraduate level. A student's depth of understanding of soils as an engineering material would be greatly enhanced via introduction of geotechnical principles for unsaturated (three phase) conditions, with the saturated soil case being presented as a subset of the broader theory. Goals for this project include the development, piloting, dissemination, and institutionalization of lecture and laboratory modules for educating undergraduate students in the basic principles of unsaturated soils theory and the application of these principles to problems of movement of structural foundation systems. Engineering and educational technology team experiences in development of these modules and in implementation at home and partner institutions will be discussed, with an emphasis on updating the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in an environment in which change is often difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013

Other

Other120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period6/23/136/26/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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