Positioning students to understand urban sustainability strategies through vertical integration: Years 1 through 3 Conference

Elzomor, M, Parrish, K, Mann, C. (2016). Positioning students to understand urban sustainability strategies through vertical integration: Years 1 through 3 . 2016-June

cited authors

  • Elzomor, M; Parrish, K; Mann, C


  • Commonly-adopted engineering pedagogy tends to be lecture-based, and places students in a passive and predominantly secondary role [1]. Research in the field of engineering education also highlights the ineffectiveness of such strategies and strongly advocates that faculty adopt advanced education strategies that actively engage learners. Citing medical education as an example, engineering education research suggests problem-based learning and vertical integration as two key strategies that will assist in facilitating the active engagement of learners. This pedagogical implementation presents the progress from years one through three of an NSF TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM) project that assesses the effectiveness of a vertically integrated problem-based learning (PBL) framework developed and implemented at "Arizona State University". The authors' framework integrates a lower-division construction management course, Construction Materials, Methods and Equipment (CON 252) and an upper-division civil engineering course, Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development (UIA 507). The courses both address sustainability, and that provides a theme for vertical integration activities. The goal of introducing sustainability concepts is two-fold: to enhance undergraduate students' interest in and understanding of sustainability by engaging them in real-world sustainability projects; and to provide students with necessary knowledge for advancing a career in sustainability within Civil and Construction Engineering and Management (CCEM). This pedagogy summarizes the progress and accomplishments of the project during years one through three by documenting the lessons learned each year, in addition to the evolution of the vertical integration PBL framework. The development and improvement of the vertical integration PBL framework depended on periodically collecting feedback from students and instructors to be able to analyze and amend the framework.

publication date

  • June 26, 2016


  • 2016-June