Masters Theses


"A learning system, to train civil engineering students to apply Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in geotechnical problems, was evaluated over a period of 5 years, hence longitudinal. The system was tested with a series of iterations consisting of usability tests and subsequent modification, which were followed by a series of applied evaluations within the context of class lab sessions. The principal goals of this evaluation were to determine the overall effectiveness of the system and the factors that affected student learning. The first evaluation was conducted in 2004; and included a control group that played a "game" related to the content to be learned and an experimental group, in which students used the system in their lab. This was followed by an evaluation in 2008, which included an experimental group and no control group. In 2009 students who used the system in lab with a teaching assistant were compared with those who did the lab as a homework assignment. Across all experiments, compared to groups who used the learning system, the students in the 2004 control group rated their perceived learning, motivation, and real world learning significantly higher, but scored significantly lower on an objective quiz over the materials covered in the lab. In the 2009 study, students who used the system on their own scored significantly higher on the objective quiz than those who used the system in class. Further, students in all experimental groups rated their knowledge, following the uses of the system, higher than their perceived knowledge before using the system, where they were only exposed to textbook and lectures. Also, students across groups rated the lab as more motivational, effective for learning, and related to "real world" engineering. From these results we can infer that the students who used the learning system gained more knowledge regarding the geotechnical module than a control group students who were, nevertheless, more enthusiastic in their lab ratings. Further, the system appears to be effective as a stand-along system, as compared to use within the context of a lab session"--Abstract, page iii.


Hall, Richard H.

Committee Member(s)

Sheng, Hong
Yu, Vincent (Wen-Bin)


Business and Information Technology

Degree Name

M.S. in Information Science and Technology


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2011


viii, 59 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-74).


© 2011 Aparna Sukhavasi, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Geographic information systems
Learning -- Longitudinal studies
Problem-based learning

Thesis Number

T 9868

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #