Evaluation of a Prototype GIS Learning System to Teach Civil Engineering Concepts


The purpose of this research was to conduct an applied evaluation of a web-based learning system used to teach civil engineering concepts using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The principal goals of the evaluation were to determine the overall effectiveness of the system and to identify factors that mediated this effectiveness. Students in two sections of a course on geotechnical engineering carried out a lab activity on soil borrow sites during a regular lab session. Those in one section used the learning system, while those in a control section learned about soil borrow sites via a board game designed for the lab. Students completed a quiz over the materials and a subjective questionnaire one week later. Those in the learning system section scored significantly higher on the quiz. In addition, qualitative analyses indicated that students found that the learning system encouraged knowledge integration, motivation, and “real world” application of engineering.

Meeting Name

World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (EDMEDIA)


Business and Information Technology

Second Department

Computer Science

Third Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Geotechnical Engineering; Soil Borrow Sites; Web-Based Learning System

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005