Steel connections play important roles in the integrity of a structure, and many structural failures are attributed to connection failures. In recent years, in order to help civil engineering students better understand the various connection types and their importance, many schools in the United States including Minnesota State have acquired steel-connectionsculptures. A steel-connection-sculpture is a physical structure that shows forty eight types of connections found in standard construction practices. It weighs nearly 2500 pounds. The cost of materials, fabrication, and transportation to a campus site is incurred by the American Institute of Steel Constructions and their corporate members. Unfortunately, because of its high cost, this type of visual aid is not available to civil engineering students studying abroad, especially in developing countries. To provide the same learning opportunities for these students, we have created an online interactive version of our steel-connectionsculpture. The interactive sculpture shows the close up view of each connection with descriptions, potential failure modes, and field examples. It is available twenty-four hours a day to interested students. To measure the effectiveness of the interactive steel sculpture, we collaborated with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, West Africa and ask their civil engineering students to examine the helpfulness of this tool. In this paper, we describe in detail, how this interactive tool can be used to enhance student’s learning in a steel design class and its effectiveness.
|Journal||International Journal of Modern Engineering|
|State||Published - 2009|