June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
New Engineering Educators
12.182.1 - 12.182.15
Adhere to your Style but be Flexible while Transitioning from One Institution to Another: A Case Study in Assessment Teaching Style
Adjusting to new and different institutional settings remains a challenge for young faculty members. It is argued that one should not change their teaching pedagogy, for instance, in the first year or two, to adapt to a new institutional culture. A literature review reveals some tips and advice to new faculty to be successful in academia. Oftentimes, these guidelines are general in nature and require interpretation to fit one’s actual needs and struggles. A civil engineering graduate of the University of University of Florida (UF), the author’s first academic post was at The City College of New York (CCNY). These two institutions differ in teaching atmosphere, research environment, history, demographics, and culture. In this paper, the author highlights the lessons he learned as a new faculty member while adapting to a new institutional environment. He believed that the use of visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations and video clips were a proven teaching method. However, most faculty members at CCNY were convinced that such an approach would not be effective given that all the graduate classes were held in the evenings and 90 percent of the students held full-time employment. Based on surveys conducted in four separate evening classes during four different semesters, both the author’s performance rating and student learning levels improved in quality while the method of teaching remained unchanged. The results of these findings were based on both student and senior faculty evaluations of the author’s teaching style. This paper represents a successful case study of the author’s struggles while transitioning into a new institution. Some measures, which are presented in this paper, may be helpful, especially to new faculty, to ensure smooth integration into a particular school’s culture.
Adjusting to new and different institutional settings remains a challenge for young faculty members. There are helpful materials that are provided in the literature 2,3; however, they may not be specific enough to deal with one’s actual struggles. When a new faculty member joins a new institution, they may be pressured to adapt to that institution’s teaching style, research interests, and its cultural environment. This pressure may be driven by the administration and/or the individual may simply feel pressured to fit in. Graduating from the University of Florida (UF), the author’s academic career started at The City College of New York (CCNY). CCNY and UF differ in teaching atmosphere, research environment, history, demographics, and culture. The author believed that the use of visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations and video clips could be an effective teaching method as compared to the conventional method of lecture.
In this paper, the conventional method of teaching (CMT) is defined as a more verbal type of approach to teaching with very little or no use of multimedia supports. In other words, the instructors lecture and write on the board, whereas, the students listen, copy the materials, and take notes. At CCNY, the norm of teaching pedagogy is that CMT is encouraged. This
Villiers, C. (2007, June), Adhere To Your Style But Be Flexible While Transitioning From One Institution To Another Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1802
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