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A Course On Teaching Engineering

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.9.1 - 4.9.5

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Paper Authors

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Susan M. Montgomery

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 0455

A Course on Teaching Engineering

Susan M. Montgomery University of Michigan


The second fundamental canon of the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers1 states that

“Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence.”

In the United States the primary focus of graduate engineering education is to train our graduate students to become researchers. We also have an ethical obligation to provide those students interested in academic careers with adequate education and training to ensure competence in the teaching aspects of their careers.

A number of universities are now offering such courses. A course on teaching engineering has been offered twice by the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, with an enrollment of approximately 30 graduate students per offering. The idea for this course came from the author’s participation in the three-day National Effective Teaching Institute, offered annually by Richard Felder and Jim Stice prior to the ASEE Conference.

Course description

The course consists of three major components:

- Understanding of learning styles, learning theories and other issues relevant to engineering education, - Preparation of course materials, and - Academic career planning.

Wankat and Oreovicz’ textbook2 is used as the required book for the course, with Reis’ excellent guide to the professional preparation for an academic career3 as a recommended book. The goals and objectives of the class are given in Table 1, some adapted from a course syllabus graciously provided by Phil Wankat.

The topics addressed in each 80 minute class period are shown in Table 2. Discussing learning styles and learning theories early in the term provides a backdrop for the later discussions on methods and procedures.

Montgomery, S. M. (1999, June), A Course On Teaching Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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