Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.847.1 - 9.847.9
Learning by Teaching in Engineering Technology Education
Rex N. Fisher Brigham Young University – Idaho
Engineering technology professors usually receive little or no training in effective teaching methods. Most of them teach the same, ineffective way they were taught—by lecturing. This paper examines a method that can be used to actively engage students in their own learning: “learning by teaching.” A sophomore-level electronics engineering technology course was conducted so that most of the material was taught by the students themselves. They presented the material and evaluated each other’s mastery of it. This transfer of control from the professor to the students had several benefits: (1) more motivation to learn, (2) better understanding of the material, (3) development of important non-technical skills, and (4) surprising creativity that taught the professor as much as the students.
The clock shows 9:00 a.m. and the class lecture begins. You draw two block diagrams on the board and start comparing an open-loop control system to a closed-loop one. Tom and Jack are in the back row whispering to each other about last night’s date. Bill is more interested in his Egg McMuffin than in what you have to say. Emily’s head seems glued to the desk. Are her eyes even open? After a few minutes, even those who were paying attention at first seem to be thinking about almost anything else.
Nearly every college professor has been through this at one time or another—probably frequently. Some blame themselves for this failure to engage students in class. Others accuse the students as being irresponsible and apathetic. But what is really going on here, and how can it be remedied?
Engineering technology professors usually receive little or no training in effective teaching methods. Most of them teach the same way they were taught—by lecturing. According to McKeachie, “Effective lecturers combine the talents of scholar, writer, producer, comedian, entertainer, and teacher in ways that contribute to student learning.” 1 He goes on to explain that few teachers can combine all of these things successfully. Even those that do, find it impossible to accomplish every single day.
Lecturing certainly has its uses: conveying large amounts of information, covering material that is too new to be in textbooks, and sharing the professor’s personal experiences and enthusiasm Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education
Fisher, R. (2004, June), Learning By Teaching In Engineering Technology Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13768
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