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Decision Making: What Does It Have To Do With My Teaching?

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade for Teaching II

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

11.388.1 - 11.388.14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--1241

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1241

Download Count

215

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Paper Authors

biography

Yi-Min Huang University of Washington

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Yi-Min Huang is a Research Scientist for the Scholarship on Teaching element of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE). She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Washington State University. Her research interests include assessment and evaluation.

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Matt Eliot University of Washington

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Matt Eliot is a doctoral candidate in the Technical Communication department of the University of Washington. His interests include product design, the structure of meaningful product experiences, human-centered design, and accessibility issues. He can be reached at mjeliot@u.washington.edu.

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Jennifer Turns University of Washington

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Jennifer Turns is an assistant professor in the Department of Technical Communication at the University of Washington. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her interests include engineering education, learner-centered design, user-centered design, and audience analysis. Dr. Turns is currently working on multiple NSF grants dealing with engineering education including an NSF Career award exploring the impact of portfolio construction on engineering students’ professional identity.

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Emma Rose University of Washington

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Emma J. Rose is a doctoral student in the UW Dept of Technical Communication. Her research interests include user-centered design and the pedagogy of qualitative research. In addition, she is a Senior Associate at Anthro-tech, Inc. a consulting firm specializing in user-centered design and usability.

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Jessica Yellin University of Washington

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Jessica M. H. Yellin is a Research Scientist for the Scholarship on Teaching element of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE). She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington with dissertation research on structural vibration and damping of acoustic noise in thin-walled structures.

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

Decision-making: What does it have to do with my teaching?

Abstract

Engineering education is a complex design activity where educators create a range of teaching artifacts including course curricula, classroom policies, lecture notes, exams, and timelines for student group projects. In order to design such artifacts, engineering faculty must make a series of teaching decisions, each of which can impact their students’ learning and engagement with course activities. Given the importance of decision-making in engineering education, we hope that by beginning to characterize engineering educator decisions, educators will gain a greater awareness of decision-making by recognizing, characterizing and anticipating decision points. In this paper, we report the results of an exploratory study of engineering faculty’s decisions as expressed during the instructional development process.

Introduction

Dr. Andy Nguyen is a new engineering faculty member starting his first job at a large university. During his time as a graduate student he mostly worked on research and hasn’t taught a class for a couple of years. Now, as he starts his career as a faculty member, he is preparing to teach a course on computational fluid dynamics. Although he attended some teaching workshops and read up on teaching practices, he feels overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching. The department chair has given him a sample syllabus and some suggestions on textbooks, but Dr. Nguyen still has to determine how to plan the day to day lessons to teach. He wants to make sure that the classes he teaches are effective for the students, but also since several of his colleagues will visit the class this first quarter, he wants to make a good impression on them too.

Dr. Doris Johnson teaches a required engineering course with over 100 students. She has taught the class a number of times before but this time has noticed that her students don’t seem to be paying attention. During the lectures, they talk amongst themselves, a few fall asleep, and as the semester progresses, she notices that attendance is slipping. Dr. Johnson knows that this material is essential for the students’ future success in their coursework and careers as engineers. She’s afraid that the students will not be prepared and that this may reflect poorly on her. Thinking about the class lectures, she wonders what she can do differently to better engage her students both this quarter and next time she teaches the class.

Each of these scenarios highlight some common challenges that engineering educators face. Engineering education is a complex design activity where educators create a range of teaching artifacts including course curricula, classroom policies, lecture notes, exams, and timelines for student group projects. In order to design such artifacts, engineering faculty must make a series of teaching decisions, each of which can impact their students’ learning and engagement with course activities.

Huang, Y., & Eliot, M., & Turns, J., & Rose, E., & Yellin, J. (2006, June), Decision Making: What Does It Have To Do With My Teaching? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1241

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