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Effective, Efficient Teaching

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



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Page Numbers

4.220.1 - 4.220.6

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Phillip C. Wankat

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

Session 1675

Effective, Efficient Teaching

Phillip C. Wankat Chemical Engineering, Purdue University

Abstract New professors are anxious to prove themselves in the classroom, but they know that their promotion and tenure prospects likely depend more on research productivity than teaching. The challenge is not only to teach well, but also to teach efficiently. Fortunately, most good teaching practices are both effective and efficient. Methods for developing a good course and hints on lecturing, testing and improving rapport with students are presented. Finally, a path for future development is suggested.

I. Introduction What is good teaching? Most importantly, students must learn the right content, but they should also have a good attitude and learn how-to-learn. To be sustainable over the long haul, teaching must also be efficient. A course is efficient for professors when there is a high ratio of (student learning)/(professor’s time on the course). Teaching will be efficient for students when there is a high ratio of (student learning/(student time on the course). Although there are times when effective teaching and efficient teaching conflict, most of the time effective teaching can also be efficient.

What can you as new faculty do to become effective, efficient teachers? First, learn some of the basics of teaching before you start. On-the-job training is simply not an efficient way to learn to teach. If at all possible, take a course or sign up for either a national teaching workshop (such as the ASEE NETI) or a local workshop at your school. If you have already taught, sign up anyway. Although you cannot redo mistakes already made, the previous teaching experience will make the teaching workshop more meaningful.

Second, learn the techniques of time management and efficiency which are applicable to all parts of your job and your life. Become familiar with concepts such as missions, goals, priorities, to-do lists, calendars, prime time, saying no, controlling procrastination, efficient methods for handling mail, and the tyranny of the urgent.1,2 Apply these methods to your academic position,3 paying special attention to efficient teaching.4 If you are still in graduate school or work with graduate students, Peters’ book5 is good despite his somewhat cynical attitude. If you feel overworked and lonely, realize most assistant professors feel the same way.6

II. Efficient Teaching Methods

Wankat, P. C. (1999, June), Effective, Efficient Teaching Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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