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Development of Best Practices for New Engineering and Math Educators

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade in Teaching I

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.490.1 - 22.490.9



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Paper Authors


Robert M. Brooks Temple University

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Dr. Robert M. Brooks is an Associate Professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Temple University. He is a registered professional engineer in PA and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His research interests are Civil Engineering Materials, Transportation Engineering, and Engineering Education.

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Jyothsna K. S. St.Joseph's College, Bangalore, Department of English

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Secured a gold Medal for the highest aggregate marks in the Post Graduate English Literature Course at St.Joseph's College (Autonomous). Working for the Department of English, St.Joseph's College for almost an year now, teaching both undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in English. Published papers in intramural and extramural publications. Presented papers at several conventions, conferences and seminars.

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Amithraj Amavasai

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Development of best practices for new engineering and math educatorsThe demands on new educators are several fold. The important ones include, outstanding teaching,research and service. Senior faculty guiding the new educators would ease their stress in meeting theirobjectives effectively. The scope of the paper is limited to new educators’ teaching effectiveness only.The author, a senior faculty with excellent teaching record for the past 20 years (taught over 3000students over a wide variety of courses) and winner of several outstanding teaching awards at thedepartment and college levels, has utilized an innovative approach with nine (three engineering and sixmathematics) educators. The author has been working with over two dozens of teaching practices. Theauthor invited the new engineering and math educators for observing his teaching. The senior facultymade several unannounced visits to the classes of the new educators to observe, evaluate and advisethem, effective teaching and obtaining higher evaluation scores. The innovative approach consisted ofthe nine best practices. These are: facilitation of learning, frequently posing probing questions to thestudents with clues when needed while teaching progresses, providing the students with lectureobjectives in each class, integrating labs with lecture, excellent preparation for and organization of thelecture, promoting a classroom atmosphere in which the students felt free to ask questions, providinguseful feedback about exams, projects, and assignments, maintaining the course content consistent withthe educational objectives of the course, and increasing ability to analyze and critically evaluating ideas,arguments and point of view. The focus of the paper is to document the improvement in theeffectiveness of the teaching and students’ evaluation scores on teaching of the new educators.A confidential survey consisting of self evaluation of the educators on how effective teachers they are,revealed that before and after the strategy their evaluation scores are 81 and 93 respectively. Theinnovative strategy improved the scores by 15%. With a calculated t value of 3.6 in a two-tailed test,both groups are significantly different. The t-test confirmed statistical improvement at significantconfidence level with an alpha value of 0.05.The new educators ranked increasing ability to analyze and critically evaluating ideas, arguments andpoint of view the highest. This is so because they felt this is the most important index of theirperformance on effective teaching. They ranked addressing each student by name as the last. This isunderstandable because the average class consisted of 25 students. During the personal conversationswith the educators, several of them commented that for a small class this will not be difficult. Probablythis would not be ranked as the last for small classes.Over the next five years, the authors plan to extend this strategy involving more senior faculty and neweducators. The method presented in this study may be used at other institutions with appropriatemodifications in order to encourage students by rewarding their scholarly work.

Brooks, R. M., & S., J. K., & Amavasai, A. (2011, June), Development of Best Practices for New Engineering and Math Educators Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17771

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