DC civil engineering students team up with Confederation College peers for unique hands-on experience

Innovation in the classroom is the key to preparing students for the workforce. This fall, civil engineering students from Durham College (DC) and Confederation College in Thunder Bay are taking part in a unique experiential learning opportunity that mimics a real-world industry scenario for their AutoCAD and hand drafting courses.

The exercise will task students from Confederation College with hand drafting an object located on their campus and communicating the information required virtually for DC students to create a final engineered design in AutoCAD. Students must tap into the skills learned in their respective drafting and communication courses to ensure project success. As they would in the working world, students will leverage collaborative digital technologies, including email, SharePoint, Google Docs, Zoom and MS Teams to develop blueprints that accurately reflect the object and original hand-drawn design.

“This project echoes real life project situations from both a technical and management perspective and is a great example of how our students learn by doing,” says Mike Minelli, program co-ordinator for the Civil Engineering Technician and Civil Engineering Technology programs. “During a construction project life cycle there are many occasions where the project execution team is on site and the project design team is not, and they need to communicate through technical writing and drawings to solve problems that arise with site conditions or where value engineering takes place in the field.”

This is the second collaboration between DC and Confederation College, and is just one of many innovative hands-on learning opportunities that make DC a leader in transformative education.