Independent Study is a vague and broad course title used within many curricula. It has the potential to enhance a student’s learning experience by applying engineering practices to a topic of interest. The study may be collaboration between professor, student, and an individual outside the college (i.e. client). The purpose of this paper is to find out what a student’s perceptions are of the independent study process. A professor may believe that the independent study process that he/she has developed is a stroke of genius. The study’s objectives are met, the client is happy and thankful for the free work, and the course evaluation, prepared by the student, is a 3.8 out of 4.0. Apparently all is well, or is it? Has the student benefited from the professor’s pedagogy? This paper will not focus on the technical content of the independent study. It will present one educator’s philosophy and methodology for “managing” an independent study project. Then, the student will provide another perspective. This point of view will provide insights as to how well the philosophy and methodology is received. Both the student and the professor will qualitatively evaluate 7 topics based on purpose, success, and problems encountered. Modifications for improvement will also be offered. Each of the participants will present an assessment of the activities in a parallel fashion. That is, the paper will be published in two columns: one reflecting the assessment by the professor and the other column for the student’s assessment. SL1 Student Learning and Research TC1 Topics in Civil ET EE2 Experience with Experimental Learning ET4 ET Poster Session

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented April 2-3, 2004 at ASEE New England Section 2004 Annual Conference. Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


RIT – Main Campus