Teaching Aids

Creation of a Library of Group Activities that Promote Active Learning in the Undergraduate Soil Mechanics Classroom

Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord (Villanova University) and Dr. Gretchen Bohnhoff (University of Wisconsin-Platteville)

A "grab-and-go" set of education geotechnical activities with Word/PDF files to allow for instructor editing. Sixteen different activities were developed with the help of undergraduate students at both VU and UW-Platteville. The materials for each activity include: (1) a summary sheet for the instructor with learning objectives and instructions; (2) the activity handout to provide to the students; (3) the solution set; (4) an example rubric for the activity; and (5) supplemental information, if applicable. All files are provided in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and/or PDF formats to allow for easy editing. The required in-class time for the activities ranges from as short as one to two minutes to 50 minutes, to allow for flexibility in implementing the activities in existing courses. All of the activities are meant for small informal groups. The recommended number of group members ranges from two to five, allowing for use in a range of class sizes. The activities also vary widely in their format (e.g. "typical" quantitative problems, group jigsaws, concept questions/discussion, group presentations, calculation QA/QC) to complement different teaching styles. Please provide feedback regarding this set of activities in a brief survey.

Access to the Password-Protected Executable File (Changes to ZIP file after Unlocking).


geotech: Development of a geotechnical engineering software package in R, Dr. James Kaklamanos (Merrimack College)

In this project, we composed a geotechnical engineering software package within the statistical language and environment R.  The software package, aptly named geotech, has the capability to perform a range of geotechnical engineering computations, and is freely available for use in the geotechnical engineering field.  An additional benefit of R is the wide availability of add-on user-contributed software codes, referred to as "packages," which perform calculations in specific areas of study.  The geotech package is a compilation of functions for performing calculations and creating plots that commonly arise in geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics, and is the first R package to provide broad coverage in this area.  The types of calculations that are currently included are: (1) phase diagrams and index parameters, (2) grain-size distributions, (3) plasticity, (4) soil classification, (5) compaction, (6) groundwater, (7) subsurface stresses (geostatic and induced), (8) Mohr circle analyses, (9) consolidation settlement and rate, (10) shear strength, (11) bearing capacity, (12) lateral earth pressures, (13) slope stability, and (14) subsurface explorations.  Geotechnical engineering students, educators, researchers, and practitioners will find this package useful. For additional information, please visit https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/geotech/index.html and http://www.kaklamanos.com/software, and refer to the project final summary report and presentation..


Drilled Shaft Concepts and Construction (Pieresearch)

A practical overview of drilled shaft theory and installation techniques. This video may be a nice supplement to your undergraduate or graduate foundations coursework.

GIS Module for Undergraduate Geotechs (Ronaldo Luna)

As your semester approaches the "compaction lab" in the undergraduate courses, you may want to consider the following tool. Students are expected to have knowledge on soil index properties, cut/fill and compaction. You do not need to be a GIS user, just have the desire of your students being introduced to GIS.

Lab Testing Photo Album for Undergraduate Lectures (Susan Burns)

Complete Landfill Course Notes (David Elton and John Bowders)

A Brief Overview of Geosynthetics and Their Major Applications (Description) (Bob Koerner)

Intro to GSs.ppt (!! ~90 MB !!
To download, right click on link and choose:
"Save Target As..." in Explorer 
"Save Link As..." in Netscape
If you try to run directly from the link - it will be very slow.

A Second Free Geosynthetics CD labeled "GSI-CD2"
Available from the Geosynthetic Institute

We have distributed about 750-copies of a free CD on the topic of "A brief Overview of Geosynthetic and Their Major Applications". It has been well received, but many responded that they wanted more in the way of details. Thus we offer a second CD on Selected Geosynthetic Presentations which includes the following files.

· Introductory Comments - 3 screens
· Geosynthetic Reinforced Segmental Retaining Walls (SRWs) - 104 screens
· Lateral and Vertical Expansions Over Old Landfills - 98 screens
· Geomembranes Used in Dam Waterproofing and Lifetime Prediction - 69 screens

As with the first CD, the above is free and each screen has a short voice-over which can be used, or not, depending with your familiarity with the topic. The screens are not encrypted so you can make copies, but in so doing please give GSI the appropriate acknowledgement. Everything is generic and each of the presentations have been given "live" on numerous occasions. The audiences liked what we offered and we think you might as well. Also, please share the information with your colleagues. The idea is to "spread-the-word" as much as possible.

To receive your free copy of GSI-CD2 please e-mail your name and postal mailing address to Bob Koerner at the following address: robert.koerner@coe.drexel.edu.

Geotechnical Engineering Photo Album (Ross Boulanger and Mike Duncan)

Geoengineering Photo Gallery (Dimitris P. Zeccos)

An Introduction to Drilling and Sampling in Engineering Practice (Jason DeJong and Ross Boulanger)

Instructional centrifuge (University of Colorado at Boulder):

Dewoolkar, M.M., Goddery, T., and Znidarcic, D. (2003), "Centrifuge modeling for undergraduate geotechnical engineering instruction", Geotechnical Testing Journal, 26 (2), p. 201-209.

The paper also describes two modules (slope stability and retaining walls), each involving a centrifuge experiment and its analysis that makes a laboratory session. Some demonstration experiments are also discussed. The authors will be glad to receive any critique, comments and suggestions. If you are interested in the shop drawings or have comments, please send an email to either Mandar Dewoolkar (mandar@emba.uvm.edu) or Dobroslav Znidarcic (dobroslav.znidarcic@colorado.edu).

Alaska Earthquake Photos

Earrth Science World Image Bank

Ground Modification Photos (Hayward Baker)

Comments on seepage programs for undergraduate courses (Compiled by Isao Ishibashi)



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