June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Electrical and Computer
In this paper, we report a case study on employing and adapting a teaching method based on topical guide objectives (TGOs) in a senior-level undergraduate computing engineering course. This method was first introduced by Dr. Mattew Morrison at the University of South Florida. According to this method, course materials are divided into a list of TGOs. Homework assignments are given to students at the end of every lecture. The assignments are designed explicitly around the TGOs that have been covered by each lecture. Each TGO consists of a learning objective, a set of key-points and basic concepts, relationship between them, and one or more exercise problems.
Typically, engineering/science homework is in the form of a set of problems for students to solve. The drawback of this approach is that students often get buried in the technical details and forget about the key points and concepts taught in the lectures. This new form of assignment encourages students to focus on key points and concepts they learned in the lectures, and learn how to apply them to solve complicated problems. Furthermore, this teaching method informs students which concepts are fundamentally important. It helps students understand the wording used on quizzes and exams. It also helps build up a positive relationship between students and the instructor such that students could focus on learning instead of testing.
When employing this TGO-based teaching method, we made some improvements over the original method. In the homework assignments, for each TGO, only the concept names are given and students are asked to elaborate them in their own words as part of the homework. This would force them to learn the concepts and have the ability to recite/paraphrase them. In our case study, we find the TGO-based teaching method is particularly effective in communicating with students that are less prepared and less motivated. Both grade-based and survey-based evaluations show that student performance increased significantly by focusing on learning instead of testing, by using clear written communication via homework assignments, and by applying constant pressure.
Zhao, W., & Liu, X., & Luo, C., & Luo, X. (2017, June), Enhancing Communication with Students with a Teaching Method Based on Topical Guide Objectives Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28272
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