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Board Notes And Questioning Two Time Tested Techniques For Effective Teaching

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Workshop, Program, and Toolkit Results

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.263.1 - 10.263.11



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Paper Authors

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Allen Estes

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Ronald Welch

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

Session XXXX

Board Notes and Questioning: Two Time-Tested Techniques for Effective Teaching

Allen C. Estes, Ronald W. Welch, Fred Meyer United States Military Academy


The ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Teaching Workshop is celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. So far, 171 schools have participated and this long running American Society of Civil Engineering program has produced 307 graduates. Last year, the United Engineering Foundation provided funding to expand the program to include electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineers. The ExcEEd (Excellence in Engineering Education) workshops were jointly sponsored by ASCE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). While the teaching workshop covers a variety of topics that include learning objectives, communication skills, and teaching with technology, the two topics that participants have consistently reported as most valuable are board notes and questioning techniques. Board notes provide a systematic means of organizing a class that helps ensure students will leave with good notes, lesson objectives will be met, the class will finish on time, disparate topics will be linked by transitions, physical demonstrations and group exercises will be appropriately placed, and the class will have a hierarchical structure that makes sense and is easy to follow. Questioning techniques provide the instructor with the tools to actively engage students in the learning process in a non-threatening way and encourages their participation during the classroom presentation. Questioning students by name causes significant angst for many professors, but it can reap huge benefits for the individual who is well prepared, understands how to ask questions, and is willing to take a small risk.

This paper will focus on these two concepts that provide the professor with the ability to manage the classroom space and time while engaging the students in the learning process. It will provide an explanation, the rationale and examples of both subjects. The concepts of board notes and questioning are merely two of the 13 seminars that the ExCEEd workshop presents, but they are the two topics that are overwhelmingly cited as being most helpful in their development as teachers by over a half decade of participants.

I. Introduction

In response to the need to develop Civil Engineering faculty as effective teachers, the American Society of Civil Engineers developed the landmark faculty development initiative ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) which includes the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop (ETW). The ETW is an intense, hands-on, high quality six-day workshop consisting of seminars, demonstrations, practice classes, critiques, and social events. Since 1999, there have been 13 workshops conducted on the campuses of the United States Military Academy,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Estes, A., & Welch, R. (2005, June), Board Notes And Questioning Two Time Tested Techniques For Effective Teaching Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15262

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