How cognitive development affects student perception by threading sustainability through civil and environmental engineering curriculum

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dc.contributor.author Mueller, Jennifer S.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-08-05T11:59:31Z
dc.date.available 2021-08-05T11:59:31Z
dc.date.issued 2021-06-14
dc.identifier.citation Mueller, J. S. (2021) ‘How cognitive development affects student perception by threading sustainability through civil and environmental engineering curriculum’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June. en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 7 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11672
dc.description.abstract As environmental, social, and economic systems grow in complexity, we need to fully understand the impacts that engineers and scientists have on the world around them. To better prepare students to understand the sustainability dimensions and tackle the challenges of real-world problems, a strategic approach has been implemented to incorporate sustainable design principles throughout the four-year undergraduate curriculum in civil and environmental engineering. To set a foundation of sustainability upon which students could build throughout their academic career, this approach involves intentionally threading sustainability concepts and applications through various courses in the required curriculum. During the first two years, an awareness of sustainable design is created in a required first-year introduction to design course, followed by higher-level learning of the science of sustainability and applying sustainability principles in a required sophomore-level course. The students are then prepared to address environmental, social, and economic impacts of projects in their civil engineering technical design courses during the third-year curriculum. In their fourth year, students apply sustainable design principles and develop sustainability metrics upon which to evaluate design solutions during their senior capstone design course. With this approach, learning occurs not within a single course but across several courses spanning the four- year curriculum. The threads of learning approach allows faculty to incorporate sustainability into technical design courses, which provides students a more continuous exposure to understanding impacts of their design decisions and creating value in the broader, holistic perspective of engineering projects. Assessment of student learning involved pre- and post-surveys at the beginning and end their four-year academic careers in the civil and environmental engineering curriculum. Students rated their opinions of the importance of various knowledge and skill sets to the engineering profession, as well as their confidence in addressing environmental, social, and economic aspects of engineering projects. This paper investigates how the cognitive development of incorporating sustainable design principles into engineering design problems as a thread of learning through the curriculum has affected students’ perceptions of sustainability in their broader understanding of engineering professions. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.relation.ispartof EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference
dc.relation.uri https://www.eesd2020.org/
dc.relation.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11459
dc.rights © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Engineering education en
dc.subject Sustainable development en
dc.subject Engineering curricula en
dc.subject Engineering curriculum en
dc.subject Sustainable design en
dc.subject Cognitive development en
dc.title How cognitive development affects student perception by threading sustainability through civil and environmental engineering curriculum en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Edmond P. Byrne, Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: e.byrne@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.internal.conferencelocation Cork, Ireland en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress muellerp@rose-hulman.edu en


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© 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
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