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Impact of Department-Level Teacher Workshop on Reducing Student Complaints

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Randall D. Manteufel University of Texas, San Antonio

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Dr. Randall Manteufel is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He has won several teaching awards, including the 2012 University of Texas System Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2013 UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence, the 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2019 College of Engineering Student Council Professor of the Year Award. Dr. Manteufel is a Fellow of ASME with teaching and research interests in the thermal sciences. In 2015-2016, he chaired the American Society for Engineering Education Gulf Southwest section and in 2018-2019 he chaired the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars at UTSA.

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Amir Karimi P.E. University of Texas, San Antonio

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Amir Karimi, University of Texas, San Antonio
Amir Karimi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1982. His teaching and research interests are in thermal sciences. He has served as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering (1987 to 1992 and September 1998 to January of 2003), College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (Jan. 2003-April 2006), and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies (April 2006-September 2013). Dr. Karimi is a Fellow of ASEE, a Fellow of ASME, senior member of AIAA, and holds membership in ASHRAE, and Sigma Xi. He has served as the ASEE Campus Representative at UTSA, ASEE-GSW Section Campus Representative, and served as the Chair of ASEE Zone III (2005-07). He chaired the ASEE-GSW section during the 1996-97 academic year.

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For the past 3 years, the mechanical engineering department has conducted a teacher workshop in which the nuts-and-bolts of teaching are covered in the fall and strategies to improve student learning are emphasized in the spring semester. The workshops were original introduced to train new faculty joining the department but was later expanded to include all interested faculty. The main purpose of the workshops have been an attempt to reduce the number of student complaints and improve learning. The overall perception is that the workshops have been effective since problems often stem from common misunderstandings. In this paper, the workshop is summarized as well as lessons learned. Based on our experiences, a successful workshop needs to have (1) a point of contact for questions throughout the semester, (2) time for introduction and socialization with new instructors, (3) iterative review and revision of the syllabus and schedule for first-time instructors, and (4) clear delineation of do’s and don’ts, (5) suggestions for how to conduct a class based on student feedback. Common mistakes made by new instructors include: (1) failing to adhere to University/College/Department deadlines and requirements, (2) being too quick to say yes to student requests, (3) failing to seek guidance from faculty who taught the course previously, (4) being either an excessively lenient or harsh grader, (5) not knowing what to do when a problem arises (such as cheating). Feedback from workshop attendees is summarized to document the perceived benefits of the workshops.

Manteufel, R. D., & Karimi, A. (2019, June), Impact of Department-Level Teacher Workshop on Reducing Student Complaints Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32927

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