Improving the teaching and learning of steel structural design

Mahendran, Mahen (1996) Improving the teaching and learning of steel structural design. European Journal of Engineering Education, 21(1), pp. 75-84.

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Engineering students are best able to understand theory when one explains it in relation to realistic problems and its practical applications. Teaching theory in isolation has led to lower levels of comprehension and motivation and a correspondingly higher rate of failure. At Queensland University of Technology, a number of new methods have been introduced recently to improve the teaching and learning of steel structural design at undergradt1ate level. In the basic steel structures subject a project-based teaching method was introduced in which the students were required to analyse, design and build the lightest I most efficient steel columns for a given target capacity. A design assignment involving simple, but real structures was also introduced in the basic steel structures subject. Both these exercises simulated realistic engineering problems from the early years of the course and produced a range of benefits. Improvements to the teaching and learning was also made through integration of a number of related structural engineering subjects and by the introduction of animated computer models and laboratory models. This paper presents the details of all these innovative methods which improved greatly the students' understanding of the steel structures design process.

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ID Code: 80855
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/03043799608923390
ISSN: 0304-3797
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 Taylor & Francis Group
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2015 02:11
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2015 02:11

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