Research and Practice Group Methodology: A Case Study in Student Success

OSF Preprints
Christopher McComb, Fariborz M Tehrani

Abstract

Experiential learning is a key component in engineering education. In civil engineering, this component is typically delivered through multiple projects. These projects may include term projects for individual courses, senior design projects, theses, or independent studies. The focus of these experiences may gradually shift from practice-oriented projects in undergraduate studies to research-oriented projects in graduate studies. Thus, learning objectives should always address both areas with a strong emphasis on common fields, such as applied research. Experiential learning has the capacity to include various program-level outcomes, such as technical knowledge, communication and teamwork. Development of a research and practice group facilitates these outcomes by creating an environment to share the learning experience. Such a group should replicate the working environment of civil engineers by incorporating multidisciplinary projects and diverse individuals, including cross-generational members. As a case study, this work examines a Research and Practice Group at California State University Fresno. This group consists of junior and senior undergraduates, graduate students, and former members who are participating as alumni. Th...Continue Reading

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