1 Zagreb University of Applied Sciences (CROATIA)
2 Institute IGH (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 6733-6742
ISBN: 978-84-09-37758-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2022.1704
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
How to bring out the best in the students and teach them to be more ambitious in their studies?
How to deal with a subject not well known but important for all the students' future work?
How to make students understand that this subject is vital for them?
How to make students interested in calculations, measurements, careful watching if the results are hidden from the view, hidden in the ground?

The teaching of geotechnical engineering in a study program for civil engineers is quite demanding because geotechnical engineering itself does not attract attention until a problem occurs: a landslide that covers a city, subsidence which opens a whole in a street, a differential settlement which causes significant tilting or cracks in a building. Geotechnical engineering is working with the ground which is invisible, very heterogeneous, and generally weaker than any building material. There are plenty of possibilities to overview a possible problem - or to make a mistake, but without proper geotechnical investigation, without proper knowledge, any civil engineering works are in danger of future high costs needed to repair damages or, even of catastrophic events. Therefore, it is vital to make future civil engineers well acquainted both with possible problems and with ways to avoid these problems.

How to make sure all the students will have proper knowledge not only after finishing their courses but also for their whole working life?

What we are doing at the Zagreb University of Applied Sciences is giving students colorful information on various unwished outcomes of improper work – various cases of landslides, liquefaction, etc. are shown in detail – before giving them tools to prevent the problems. We are making students to solve problems on every lecture and looking for possible problems on their own. Taking photographs and describing the situation makes them more and more aware of all the details which should not be forgotten. Calculations in various stability etc. exercises make them familiar with some of the solutions. And having an opportunity to see a number of important successful engineers and their successful projects, may be the most appealing part of the lectures. After such presentations, students are asked to make comments and draw conclusions so that teacher could check important points and students could remember them well. A set of tests and mini-tests, together with other tasks, is concluded with an oral exam which is a conversation to round all the work on the subject. General satisfaction with the subject, although it is rather demanding, shows the relative success of this approach.
Importance of education, students’ interest, exam, engineering, civil engineering.