Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.18.1 - 6.18.10
A Comprehensive Approach to Classroom Teaching: Does it Work?
Elliot P. Douglas University of Florida
An instructional model has been previously described which provides a comprehensive approach to classroom teaching.1-3 At its core this model consists of a structured format for preparation and presentation of lecture material, and techniques for engaging students in the classroom and developing interpersonal rapport with them. This paper presents the author’s experience implementing this model in a large research university. In addition to describing modifications required in this setting, a comparison of teaching evaluations for the same course before and after implementation will be presented. A t-test was conducted for each of 27 evaluation questions to determine which were affected by the change in teaching style. Improvements could be divided into three general categories: communication of course goals and objectives; questions associated with the students’ feelings about the course and the instructor; and questions relating to the course content.
The classic Seymour and Hewitt study indicates attrition from science, math, and engineering programs is strongly affected by poor teaching practices.4 Fortunately, a number of books and training workshops are available that provide concrete, definitive techniques for improving classroom instruction. This paper focuses on one such workshop, based on the instructional activities within the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy. This workshop has been described previously, and is referred to in the literature as T4E (Teaching Teachers to Teach Engineering).1-3 The workshop itself is currently known as the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop, under sponsorship of the American Society of Civil Engineers.5 To be consistent with previous literature, this paper will refer to both the workshop and the model as T4E. The key elements of the T4E model are: communicating expectations, structured content, engaging presentation, and interpersonal rapport. Each of these areas will be discussed further below.
Several papers have described assessment of T4E from the viewpoint of the content and conduct of the workshop itself.3,6,7 Both numerical ratings and written comments consistently show that the workshop is considered valuable. Participant self-assessments before and immediately after the workshop indicate that the participants felt that the workshop is helpful in improving their teaching.
Less information is available on the extent to which the workshop actually improves teaching in the classroom. In one case, follow-up assessment of teaching evaluations one year after the Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Douglas, E. (2001, June), A Comprehensive Approach To Classroom Teaching: Does It Work? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9017
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