Examples of Applying Research-Based Learning Principles to the Redesign of an Environmental Geotechnics Course

Marina Pantazidou, Kyriakos Kandris


This paper offers detailed examples of how research-based learning princi-ples can be translated into the instructional decisions involved in designing an engineering course. The redesign of the specific course on environmental geotechnics was prompted by transforming a lecture-based course to an online version. The implemented changes are compatible with research find-ings on learning, which are distilled in the literature in the form of the learn-ing principles reviewed herein. For presentation purposes, the changes are grouped in two main categories: logistical changes, i.e. modifications mainly imposed by the constraints of online study, and pedagogical changes, i.e. changes not related to the learning medium. Examples of implemented modi-fications are given in the body of the paper and in the Supplement. In most cases, the initial motivation for a change was not to achieve compatibility with results of research on learning. Rather, the intended overarching aim was to make transparent the major decisions involved in course design. As far as the paper is concerned, its ultimate goal is to engage engineering in-structors in contributing to communal teaching resources. Its immediate goal is to make explicit the relationship between good instructional practices and the research evidence that supports them through a variety of examples. In the process of so doing, the paper identified the research need to record how domain experts understand foundational domain concepts in a way suitable for use in instruction.


course design, civil engineering, evidence-based practice, case study, tacit expert knowledge

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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