About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4265-4270
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1132

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

DEVELOPING A TWO SEMESTER STRUCTURES COURSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS

G. Goldenberg

Wentworth Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
After practicing structural engineering for more than 15 years, I started teaching Structures courses to architecture students. I enjoy designing structures and wanted my students to appreciate not only the challenges of the subject matter, but also to appreciate that understanding the basics of structural design would allow them to create even more exciting buildings. I quickly realized that architecture students were different from engineering or technology students. The typical sequential, step by step approach used to teach engineering subjects did not “speak’ to them at all. I was determined to find a better way to “reach” my students. Over the years, I tried a variety of small adjustments to my courses in an attempt to make the subject matter more attractive to the majority of my students. It became apparent that a more significant change would be required.

My experiences along the way became the subject of the paper I submitted to this conference last year. In that paper, I hypothesized that developing a Structures course that utilized a format similar to the way learning takes place in an architecture studio class would attract and engage my students.

The subject of the paper I am proposing for this year is a look at how I am conducting the transition to the new course format utilizing student involvement in the process. The goal was to create a two-semester sequence in which student interest could be gauged and the mechanics of developing a project-based structures course could be tested. Changing to a new format centred on a project that each student would be designing is a significant departure from a “typical” Structures course and would provide ample learning opportunities for both the students and the instructor.

Ultimately, I planned to offer a year of classes in which the first semester would introduce structural topics utilizing the design of a relatively straightforward small building. The second semester would focus on the topics in greater depth, utilizing the design of a larger building. In order to test this idea, this year I decided to create a “hybrid” course. This allowed me to see students’ response to the change and get them to participate in the process.

My first semester was very similar to a “standard” Structures course. However, it also included a small building project that was used during lectures and homework assignments, but was not required for the grade. After determining that the students were interested and engaged by this project-based learning opportunity, I included an individual design project in the second semester as a significant part of the course.

By inviting my students to provide active feedback during the first semester they became invested in this new approach. By indicating their interest in having it applied in the second semester, it became their decision – one that they would “live” with.

This paper describes this two-semester experiment with students’ responses and projects that they developed.
@InProceedings{GOLDENBERG2017DEV,
author = {Goldenberg, G.},
title = {DEVELOPING A TWO SEMESTER STRUCTURES COURSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1132},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1132},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4265-4270}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Goldenberg
TI - DEVELOPING A TWO SEMESTER STRUCTURES COURSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1132
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 4265
EP - 4270
ER -
G. Goldenberg (2017) DEVELOPING A TWO SEMESTER STRUCTURES COURSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 4265-4270.
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