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King Saud University

College of Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering

Course Specification
CE 380 Soil Mechanics Laboratory

Revised April 2011

Course Specification
Institution : King Saud University
College/Department : College of Engineering - Department of Civil Engineering

A Course Identification and General Information


1. Course title and code: Soil Mechanics Laboratory, CE 380
2. Credit hours : 1 hour
3. Program(s) in which the course is offered.
(If general elective available in many programs indicate this rather than list programs)

Civil Engineering Program


4. Name of faculty member responsible for the course

Prof. Talal Obeid AL-REFEAI


Seventh Level
6. Pre-requisites for this course (if any)
CE 302 (Mechanics of Materials)
7. Co-requisites for this course (if any) CE 382 Geotechnical Engineering-I
5. Level/year at which this course is offered:

8. Location if not on main campus

B Objectives
Summary of the main learning outcomes for students enrolled in the course.

1.
2.
3.
4.

Conduct laboratory experiments to measure engineering properties of soil.


Write technical reports for laboratory and field tests.
Use simple computer programmes to present test results.
Improve the communication skills, including reading, writing, and oral
presentations.

2. Briefly describe any plans for developing and improving the course that are being implemented. (eg
increased use of IT or web based reference material, changes in content as a result of new research in
the field)

1- The course contents will be periodically reviewed by the instructors and the
Undergraduate Committee to include new materials of relevance and improved
teaching method.
C. Course Description (Note: General description in the form to be used for the Bulletin or
Handbook should be attached)
1 Topics to be Covered
Topic
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

Introduction.

Moisture content
Liquid, plastic and shrinkage limits.
Specific gravity.
Sieve analysis.
Hydrometer test.
Compaction test.
Field Density.
Permeability test
Total sulfate and chloride content of soil. pH value and organic content.
Direct shear test.
Unconfined compression test.
Consolidation test.
Conventional triaxial test.

No of
Weeks
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Contact
hours
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

2. Course components (total contact hours per semester):


Lecture:

Tutorial:

Laboratory: 30 hrs (2 hrs per week)

Other:

3. Additional private study/learning hours expected for students per week. (This should be an average
:for the semester not a specific requirement in each week)
30 hrs / semester

4. Development of Learning Outcomes in Domains of Learning


For each of the domains of learning shown below indicate:

A brief summary of the knowledge or skill the course is intended to develop;


A description of the teaching strategies to be used in the course to develop that
knowledge or skill;
The methods of student assessment to be used in the course to evaluate learning
outcomes in the domain concerned.

a. Knowledge
(i)

Description of the knowledge to be acquired

1. Knowledge of basic properties of soil.


2. Skill to conduct laboratory experiments and field test to measure engineering properties
of soil
3. Students are able to apply knowledge in mathematics, physics, and engineering science
to civil and engineering problems.

4. Students are encouraged to improve their writing, communication and presentation


skills.
(ii)

Teaching strategies to be used to develop that knowledge

1- Interactive learning process through questions and answers in lecture and


Laboratory.
2- Laboratory work, engaging students to plan and coordinate tests.
3- Experimental work, collection and interpretation of test data.
(iii)

Methods of assessment of knowledge acquired

1- Exams, homework and reports are used to assess the acquired knowledge on the
subject.
2- Oral and written examination in lab to examine the students ability to perform
tests and their knowledge of the material behaviour and properties.
b. Cognitive Skills
(i)

Cognitive skills to be developed

1- The ability to apply algebra, elementary calculus, and principles of soil mechanics
in the analysis and design of simple geotechnical systems.
(ii) Teaching strategies to be used to develop these cognitive skills

1- Laboratory work is planned for number of experiments.


2- Engage students in classroom and laboratory discussion with questions and
answers.

(iii) Methods of assessment of students cognitive skills

1- Exams, Quizzes and homework will include problems of which requires critical
thinking.
2- lab reports require data analysis and interpretation.
c. Interpersonal Skills and Responsibility
(i) Description of the interpersonal skills and capacity to carry responsibility to be developed

1- Students will be able to submit accurate results and reports in professional way.
2- Student will take the responsibility to solve given assignments on their own and
submit the solution on time.
3- Students learn to manage their time between self study, solving assignments.
(ii) Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills and abilities

1- Special attention and mark rewards are pointed to the submitting of accurate
results and professional reports.
2- Assignment is given to the students at regular intervals for them to solve and
submit. 10% of the final grade is allocated to the assignments. Late or no
submission of assignments carries penalties or loss of grade points.
3- Participation of students in classroom discussion and presentations.
(iii) Methods of assessment of students interpersonal skills and capacity to carry responsibility

1- Lab attendance of students is recoded.


2- Recording of submission of assignment and the grades.
3- Participation of students in the discussion and in project team work are evaluated
at the end of the semester.
d. Communication, Information Technology and Numerical Skills
(i) Description of the skills to be developed in this domain.

1- Ability of the students to apply basic knowledge of mathematics in computing.


2- Use of computer in problem solving and report writing.
3- Ability of submitting and presenting calculation reports in professional way.
(ii)

Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills

1- Encouraging students for submitting their assignments and reports in neat and
professional way.
2- Assist the students in labs sessions for any difficulties they face in conducting or
analyzing experiments.
(iii) Methods of assessment of students numerical and communication skills

1- Assessments of students assignment and reports include expectation of


adequate use of numerical and communication skills.
4

2- Special portion of marks are dedicated for achieving professional standards in


reports.
e. Psychomotor Skills (if applicable)
(i) Description of the psychomotor skills to be developed and the level of performance required

Not applicable
(ii) Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills
(iii) Methods of assessment of students psychomotor skills

5. Schedule of Assessment Tasks for Students During the Semester


Assessment
1
2
3
5

Assessment task (eg. essay, test, group project,


examination etc.)
Assignments
13 Reports
Lab Attendance
Final Exam

Week due

Proportion of
Final
Assessment

Bi-weekly basis

15%

weekly

30%

Each lecture

5%

As scheduled by
the registrar

50 %

D. Student Support
1. Arrangements for availability of faculty for individual student consultations and academic advice.
(include amount of time faculty are available each week)
12-

Each faculty is required to be available in his office to devote at least 3 hr/week for
students consultation and academic advice.
Teaching assistance taking the tutorial is required to devote 1hr/week for helping
the students.

E Learning Resources
1.

Required Text(s)

1. Engineering properties of Soil and their Measurements by J.E.,Bowells,McGraw-Hill ,


Latest Edition.
2. Essential References
3- Recommended Books and Reference Material (Journals, Reports, etc) (Attach List)
4-.Electronic Materials, Web Sites etc

Searching the web for sites that include design and information about soil mechanics
and free software to analyze and design simple geotechnical systems.
5- Other learning material such as computer-based programs/CD, professional standards/regulations

Using Excel in solving different assignments.


F. Facilities Required
Indicate requirements for the course including size of classrooms and laboratories (ie number of seats in
classrooms and laboratories, extent of computer access etc.)
1. Accommodation (Lecture rooms, laboratories, etc.)
1- Classrooms need to be large enough to accommodate maximum of 40 students, with relaxed
seats.
2- Classrooms need to be equipped with a large blackboard as well as a white wide rolling down
screen and mounted head projector for slide show presentations
3- Classrooms need to be equipped with a fixed computer linked directly to the head projector.
2. Computing resources

1- A computer lab that can accommodate maximum of 35 students need to be


equipped with updated computers and Geotechnical software.
2- Computer labs need to be operated at extended hours so that students can have
easy access within their suitable free time.
3. Other resources (specify --eg. If specific laboratory equipment is required, list requirements or attach
list)
Direct shear and traixial compression equipments, and consolidation equipments

G Course Evaluation and Improvement Processes


1 Strategies for Obtaining Student Feedback on Effectiveness of Teaching

Student course evaluation at the conclusion of the course.

2 Other Strategies for Evaluation of Teaching by the Instructor or by the Department

Faculty assessment of the course and effectiveness of teaching delivery.


Periodic self- assessment of the program.

3 Processes for Improvement of Teaching

Undergraduate Committee will review deficiencies based on the student


evaluation, faculty input, course file, and program assessment.
Feedback from employers and alumni surveys and graduating students input are
used to identify any deficiencies in students ability in applying knowledge of
engineering mechanics.
Organize workshop on effective teaching methods to enable instructors to
improve their teaching skill.
Teaching method will focus on students learning and on course learning
outcomes.

4. Processes for Verifying Standards of Student Achievement (eg. check marking by an independent
faculty member of a sample of student work, periodic exchange and remarking of a sample of
assignments with a faculty member in another institution)

5. Describe the planning arrangements for periodically reviewing course effectiveness and planning for
improvement.

Self- assessment at every two years and the external assessment by the invited
faculty member at every four years will be carried out. The feedback received
from these assessments will be used to plane for further improvement in the
course syllabus, teaching method, and delivery of course materials.