Ralph Peck introduced the concept of using a geotechnical case histories course to teach students problem solving and technical communications skills, beginning around 1956. This course was developed as a professional practice course at the graduate level, intended for civil engineers of diverse backgrounds as well as geoscientists. Students were required to prepare one-page summaries of each case history profiled in the course, a requirement that left an enormous impression on the students. A different approach was employed by the University of California, Berkeley, beginning around 1970. Berkeley offered two graduate courses in the mold of ABET “capstone courses,” graduate soil mechanics laboratory, and advanced foundation construction. These courses were intended to prepare students for geotechnical problem solving and professional practice using a single term project, which required student teams to prepare a comprehensive report, similar to those prepared by private sector consultants. The background on each of these courses, the individuals who taught them, and the techniques employed by those instructors are briefly profiled and their pros and cons are compared.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/j-rogers/3/