Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


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Kim, Seunghee. "Benchmark Portfolio: CIVE 334 - Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering" (2019). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 131. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/131


This Benchmark Portfolio is for CIVE 334 “Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering”. The course description is provided as “soil composition, structure and phase relationships; soil classification; principles of effective stress; loading induced subsurface stresses; load history; deformation and failure of soils; elastic and limit analysis with applications to design for bearing capacity, settlement, retaining walls, and slope stability; steady-state seepage.” This course is mandatory for students in the department of civil engineering, and the only mandatory class in the sub-discipline of geotechnical engineering. Therefore, this course is critical for students to have foundational knowledge about soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, and essential to understanding other advanced topics in the sub-discipline of geotechnical engineering. After successfully passing this course, the instructor wants that students become capable of the following aspects: (1) understand soils as an important construction material; (2) understand how soils can be categorized into different groups (e.g., fine-grained and course-grained soils) based on their index and physical properties; (3) understand the hydraulic properties of soils in relevance to their classification; (4) understand the mechanical behavior of soils (deformation, stiffness, and strength) with their classification and presence of water; and (5) apply mathematical formulae to predict such a hydraulic-and-mechanical response of soil materials. Main purpose of this benchmark portfolio is to examine how students achieve these key learning objectives and look for possible improvements. The benchmark portfolio consists of benchmark memo 1, 2, and 3, followed by summary and reflection.