Assessing the Effectiveness of Problem and Project Based Learning in a Green Building Design and Construction Course Using ETAC Criteria

By Robert Korenic

Sustainable design practices have become more prevalent in the fields of Civil and Construction Engineering Technology and traditional Civil Engineering. Therefore, educators must prepare the next generation of engineers with courses on sustainable engineering and incorporate sustainable topics into traditional engineering subjects. Such is the case at Youngstown State University where the first course in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was taught Fall semester 2012. The course used the USGBC LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Design and Construction as the basis for learning. The students were asked to learn the aforementioned USGBC publication through traditional classroom lectures, case studies and projects. Each of the case studies and the final project used Problem and Project Based learning principles to allow the students to gain greater understanding of the material. The effectiveness of this was assessed using ETAC learning outcomes. This was done by choosing specific outcomes to be evaluated and then evaluating each assignment and test based on the outcomes which reflect what the students were supposed to learn. This paper describes the Problem and Project based methodology used and the approach to selecting the ETAC outcomes used to assess the student learning. Also discussed will be the process of setting up and analyzing the rubrics used to get meaningful data and results of the student learning.

Continue Reading