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Graduate Students As Co Instructors For An Undergraduate Course: Implementation And Assessment

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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

11

Page Numbers

11.670.1 - 11.670.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/629

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

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Saravanan Swaminathan Tennessee Technological University

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Saravanan Swaminathan is currently working on his Ph.D degree in Chemical Engineering at the Tennessee Technological University. His research deals with modeling the solubility of small molecules in polymers. He received his B.Tech degree from University of Madras (India) and his MS degree from Tennessee Technological University.

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Barath Baburao Tennessee Technological University

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Barath Baburao is currently working on his Ph.D degree in Chemical Engineering at the Tennessee Technological University. His research deals with thermodynamic modeling of aqueous hydrogen fluoride mixtures. He received his B.Tech degree from Annamalai University (India) and his MS degree from Tennessee Technological University.

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Donald Visco Tennessee Technological University

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Donald P. Visco, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Undergraduate Program Coordinator at Tennessee Technological University. He received his Ph. D. in 1999 from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His research focuses on molecular design for the chemical process and pharmaceutical industries.

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

Graduate Students as Co-Instructors for an Undergraduate Course: Implementation and Assessment

Abstract

This work suggests one method to fully expose graduate students to the demands of teaching an undergraduate course under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. The students, called co-instructors, interact with the supervisor on various levels from course design to the grading schemes. Based on the feed back received from the students, it was concluded that this type of interaction provided a useful learning experience for both the undergraduate students and the co-instructors.

Introduction

The primary purpose of an engineering college, especially at the undergraduate level, is to provide effective instruction in subject matter through the stimulation and motivation of students [1]. Accordingly, it makes sense that those selected to teach undergraduate students should be trained properly for this function. Unfortunately, while most candidates applying for openings have little teaching experience, the institutions that are looking to hire prospective faculty expect their candidates to be “teaching ready”[2]. Adding to this problem is that the teaching experience that graduate students receive is quite different across the nation. For example, some graduate students are just used to grade homework and examinations, while others run homework recitations and a third group handles the laboratory. All of these experiences are quite unique and, at some level, a newly-hired faculty member is expected to be proficient in all of these areas.

The status and nature of training graduate students for teaching is itself a topic of its own right. [3] There have been several suggestions for training doctoral-level candidates for teaching. However, in the engineering arena, most of the efforts concentrate on training graduate teaching assistants (TA) in aiding the full-time faculty during a particular course, as has been previously mentioned. A unique way to address this problem has been put forth very recently by both Purdue University and Virginia Tech [4]. At each of these institutions, a graduate student can enroll in an Engineering Education program and receive their Ph. D. in this area. Such students are exposed to every aspect of engineering education from educational principles to various teaching methods. However, these students are not being trained in a so-called “technical area” within their discipline and, hence, it is unknown at this point how effective such training will be in landing a tenure- track faculty position. Another way to educate graduate students who plan to enter academia is through a formal course during their graduate studies. Universities such as South Carolina and West Virginia offer these classes as an elective course in their respective Chemical Engineering departments. There are also TA instructional programs that are provided in the form of teaching seminars, workshops, language tutorials for newly appointed international TAs, etc [5]. Additionally, there are also programs such as Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) at the University of Cincinnati, whose goal is to

1

Swaminathan, S., & Baburao, B., & Visco, D. (2006, June), Graduate Students As Co Instructors For An Undergraduate Course: Implementation And Assessment Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/629

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015