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Curricular Middle Management: The Role Of A Graduate Student Instructor In A Senior Level Design Course

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessing Design Coursework I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

12.433.1 - 12.433.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2411

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey Ringenberg University of Michigan

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Jeffrey Ringenberg is a lecturer and a former graduate student instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. His research interests include methods for bringing technology into the classroom and studying the effects of social networking on learning.

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Elliot Soloway University of Michigan

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Elliot Soloway is a professor in the School of Information, the School of Education, and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He is also affiliated with the University of Michigan Digital Library and the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education. His research interests include the use of technology in education and developing software that takes into consideration the unique needs of learners.

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David Chesney University of Michigan

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David Chesney is a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. His research interests include the incorporation of socially aware term projects into the engineering curriculum and K-12 outreach.

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

Curricular Middle Management: The Role of a Graduate Student Instructor in a Senior-Level Design Course

Abstract

The traditional responsibilities of a graduate student instructor (GSI) usually consist of a combination of activities meant to aid the primary instructor for the course and to reinforce the material that is being delivered in lecture. Creating and grading homework sets, supervising labs, meeting with students in discussion sessions, and grading exams are a few of the many different tasks that a GSI must undertake throughout a typical semester. However, when a GSI is involved in a team-based, senior-level design course, s/he must assume a different role and make use of a totally different set of skills in order to be an effective member of the teaching staff.

1.0 Introduction

Team-based design courses are an important part of engineering education since they provide students with many of the skills they will need when they enter the workforce. Due to the nature of these courses, the methods with which they are taught can be very unique. The roles that the instructors play in the course are also different from what is normally found in a more traditional course. The main instructor no longer provides large quantities of factual information; rather, s/he provides practical knowledge that the students can apply to their course projects. In addition, the graduate student instructor (GSI) must also take on new roles. These new roles must be more conducive to an open-format course and should teach the students how to function effectively in a team. In addition, these new styles of teaching can help prepare the GSI for a future career in academia when combined with previous methods1 - 3. This paper will focus on what comprises these new roles for a GSI by presenting several different strategies and functions that s/he must perform.

2.0 The Various Roles of a GSI in a Design Course

This section will discuss some of the various roles that a GSI must occupy throughout the term of a design course. These roles are:

Mentor Educational Psychologist Confidant Colleague

2.1 GSI as Mentor

The first and most important function of a GSI in a design course is to act as a mentor to the students. The GSI has likely had a great deal of experience with working in teams from his/her recent educational experiences and can draw upon this knowledge when meeting with students. Student teams often have a hard time deciding what the focus of their project will be and the GSI can offer advice on what topics are the most interesting and important. In addition, s/he can

Ringenberg, J., & Soloway, E., & Chesney, D. (2007, June), Curricular Middle Management: The Role Of A Graduate Student Instructor In A Senior Level Design Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2411

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