An evaluation was conducted on a web-based e-learning system designed to facilitate integration of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) into the Civil Engineering curriculum. The principal goals of the evaluation were to determine the overall effectiveness of the system and to better understand underlying learning processes. Data were collected from 80 students who participated in a computer laboratory session involving a typical geotechnical exercise. Students rated their learning and motivation significantly higher than studying from the class text, and rated the lab’s applicability to the “real world” significantly higher than the class text or lecture. Furthermore, students rated their knowledge of GIS significantly higher after the lab session. Qualitative analysis indicated that students were motivated to use the system in order to develop a broad overview of GIS, to learn specific GIS functionality, and as a method for on-going review of GIS.