At Rowan University, civil engineering (CE) materials laboratory is taught in the junior year as a required course for all CE students. This is a two-credit course involving a seventy-five minute class and two-hour forty-minute laboratory every week. The typical enrolment is around twenty students and there are no teaching assistants allowed. The limited laboratory space and equipment does not provide sufficient hands-on experience to all the students. Several universities have a situation similar to that of Rowan University, and this makes teaching core courses like civil engineering materials very challenging. The course was modified so that it addressed the concepts required to conduct laboratory experiments and its practical applications. The objectives of the laboratory experiments were well defined, however, the process was left to the innovative ideas of the students. The students had to determine the best way to achieve the objectives of the laboratory, building upon the information learnt not only in this class but also in statics, structural analysis and mechanics of material. This article, presents the course outline with a week-byweek breakdown of activities, with objectives for each of the four experiments and typical examination questions, and the unique pedagogical technique to teach civil engineering materials.
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