AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 was released on April 4, 2012. With it came a few new features like rail alignments, pressure pipes, and survey queries just to name a few. Of course, these features have been added to the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 Fundamentals course but the biggest changes to the book are items that will make it more teachable.
The first big change is that Civil 3D Fundamentals will be available in both a metric version and an imperial version this year. In separating the units into two separate books, students will have a much easier time following the exercises without getting confused on which numbers they should be typing into the software. The second big change, and the biggest in my opinion, is that it now follows ACI standards much better. Many of you may be familiar with the Autodesk Certified Instructor program and may be working toward getting certified yourself. A very important part of becoming an ACI is being able to define the objectives you will be covering in each lesson and making sure that you break lessons up into short, highly engaging, and understandable learning cycles. ASCENT has added learning objectives to both the lecture material and the exercises to help you in this area (as shown below).
For years AutoCAD Civil 3D software has been taught in large chunks of content at a time. In fact, before I went through the ACI program myself, I used to teach the interface components found in the first chapter all in one big lecture as many do. Then students would spend 50 minutes finishing the exercise in the book. Teaching in this way tends to leave students feeling overwhelmed and confused about what they just learned. If they don’t understand everything in the first chapter, then it creates problems throughout the course because something important like the user interface will be used throughout the course and slows everyone down as you try to help people understand things you have already covered.
In the 2013 book, I have broken up the content into much more manageable exercises. For example, a good instructor should be able to introduce the overall user interface in 5 to 10 minutes of lecture. Then they should be able to spend another 5 minutes demonstrating what was just discussed so that when the students try the 5 minute exercise they have no problem remembering and understanding what they just learned and are able to complete the exercise without any trouble.
The bonus for those wanting to go through the ACI program is that you are able to use ASCENT content during the ACI workshop while getting certified. Each exercise outlines how long it should take a student to complete (as shown in the image above) which will help you properly set up a good learning cycle. All that is left for you to do is practice demonstrating the topic in the software and keeping students engaged.
Speaking of certification, if you or your students are looking to become professionally certified by taking the Autodesk Certification exams, another thing we have added to all our books is an indicator that shows which certification objectives are covered in each section (as shown below).