Driving Home the Lesson:

Engage DMA awardee using video projects to assess campus-related transportation issues

By Vanessa Eisch
Engage Staff

Noyce presenting

"The challenge we always have is getting engineers to communicate," explained engineering professor David Noyce to a room of UW faculty and staff at October's Engage Digital Media Assignments (DMA) event.

"You can give them [students] a piece of paper, pencil and a calculator and they can do what you want, but to explain that in an oral or a video way is always challenging," he continued.

Noyce's students faced that challenge head on this semester.

Students in his Civil and Environmental Engineering 370 class created videos on campus-related transportation issues as a final project. This semester's focus was mopeds.

Noyce presenting

45,000 students, staff and faculty try to make their way to and from campus every day. Add thousands of racing scooters to the mix of cars, bikes and emergency vehicles and you have the makings for a commuting nightmare.

Noyce says UW Madison has the largest moped population of any university in the U.S. UW Transportation Services issues 1,600 moped parking permits each academic year. Of course, Noyce says there are another 400 or so mopeds without permits scooting around campus.

Noyce's students focused their video research on the Charter Street corridor from Johnson Street to Observatory Drive. They will present their assessment of moped-related transportation issues in 5-8 minute long videos with photos, charts, voiceovers and interviews.

"So far it's been fantastic," Noyce said enthusiastically.

Engage's DMA events give UW faculty and staff an opportunity to share ideas and discuss challenges and solutions related to teaching and learning with digital media.