Approaches to Teaching Cement Hydration Processes to Undergraduate Students
Lisa E. Burris, Kenneth C. Hover, Anton K. Schindler, Aleksandra Radlinska
Appears on pages(s):
portland cement, hydration, maturity, microstructure, active learning, in-class demonstrations, concept mapping, inquiry-based learning, daily quiz technology, reinforced concrete pier, strengthening, theoretical model, ultra-high performance concrete
Concrete continues to be the most widely used material in the world, second only to water. Concrete is used in most civil infrastructure systems, but it often remains inadequately understood by the profession. For civil engineers to adapt to a world requiring ever-increasing efficiency, durability, and sustainability, and in which novel material formulations and products are introduced monthly, engineers must be able to make decisions as to the acceptability of these materials, and their effect on the performance of civil infrastructure. Essential to that ability is students’ understanding of the basics of cement hydration and its relationship to property development in the fresh and hardened concrete state. Towards that goal, this paper presents the basics of cement hydration, resources for learning more about the subject, and approaches to transferring knowledge to undergraduate-level students, through both lecture- and lab-based activities. Topics addressed include prioritization of topics for undergraduate civil engineering students to learn with regards to cement hydration processes, approaches to effective teaching of these topics including active learning in the classroom and laboratory, as well as knowledge exchange strategies, assessment techniques, and lessons learned from past experiences teaching these topics.