June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.700.1 - 10.700.22
How early is too early to start teaching? Teaching portfolios as a training tool for undergraduate instructors
Jessica M. H. Yellin, Jennifer Turns, Beza Getahun University of Washington
Abstract Undergraduate students, especially juniors and seniors in their programs, often have the necessary content knowledge to be able to assist effectively in teaching prerequisite courses in engineering and science. Because these undergraduates are ‘near peers’, undergraduate teaching assistants may seem more approachable than faculty instructors and serve as role models to students in classes that they teach. With some training, advanced undergraduate teaching assistants or instructors can potentially serve as a cost-effective way to provide additional instructional support. As part of an NSF funded teaching and learning center, the Engineering Teaching Portfolio Program (ETPP) has designed a four session teaching portfolio program that helps train undergraduate students to be more effective as instructors. During these 1 hour sessions, undergraduate instructors share and discuss teaching strategies with a forum of their peers while documenting their instructional activities through creating teaching portfolios. This paper describes the teaching portfolio program curriculum and discusses the curriculum design, the results of the initial curriculum usability testing with the undergraduate instructors who staff the Minority Science and Engineering Program (MSEP) study center, and the perspectives of these undergraduate instructors on teaching and learning. As a result of the success of this pilot offering, the MSEP study center is currently considering requiring the undergraduate ETPP as training for all MSEP student instructional support staff.
Introduction Undergraduate students, especially juniors and seniors in their programs, often have the necessary content knowledge to be able to assist effectively in teaching prerequisite courses in engineering and science. Because undergraduate instructors and tutors are ‘near peers’, undergraduate teaching assistants may seem more approachable than faculty instructors and serve as role models to students in classes that they teach1. However, undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields have few opportunities to work as course instructors or teaching assistants, and even fewer opportunities to explore and develop scholarly approaches to teaching.
Although many undergraduates gain teaching experience through peer tutoring programs, these programs usually do not provide formal training for peer tutors about best practices for STEM instruction. Furthermore, undergraduates may not recognize that learning how to teach more effectively is a professional development skill that could be useful to them in non-teaching focused STEM fields. They also may not have a reason to archive or save work that they have done towards developing products of instruction such as worksheets, solved problem sets, lesson plans, and other documents related to their teaching. Unless a system exists to archive or save
“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”
Yellin, J., & Turns, J. (2005, June), How Early Is Too Early To Start Teaching? Teaching Portfolios As A Training Tool For Undergraduate Instructors Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14823
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