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Learning Through Teaching, A Collaborative Learning Strategy

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Improving Teaching & Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.856.1 - 9.856.10



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Paper Authors

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Patrick Hollis

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Namas Chandra

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Chiang Shih

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

Session 2230

Learning-Through-Teaching, a Collaborative Learning Strategy

Chiang Shih, Namas Chandra, Patrick Hollis

Department of Mechanical Engineering FAMU-FSU College of Engineering


We have proposed the promotion of collaborative learning by systematically engaging all students in an innovative “Learning-Through-Teaching” (LTT) pedagogical practice in the core Mechanical Engineering curriculum. The LTT program empowers students with self-learning capability by involving them in the actual classroom/laboratory teaching. Through LTT, students learn from and teach to their own peers, thus developing a horizontal bonding among students that helps create a communal desire for mastery of the material. This practice not only enhances their study skills but also changes their attitude toward the overall educational experience.

We have practiced the LTT concept in our department recently by implementing the program from the sophomore-level “Introduction to ME” class, to the junior-level “Thermal and Fluids Laboratory” class, and to the senior-level technical electives; all with different degrees of success. Based on our preliminary assessment, most students who have participated in the LTT practice indicate that the program had a positive impact on their overall learning experience. We believe that the systematic involvement of students in the LTT experience can transform them from being passive recipients into active learners thus preparing them for a life-long self-learning experience.


Traditional engineering education relies heavily on a passive classroom lecture approach. Studies1,2 have shown that students learn much better when active learning strategies are used. In the conventional learning setting many students, especially incoming freshmen, feel left out of the process and are not able to reach their true potential. In light of this, we believe that a major shift in the current educational mode is essential, whether it is mandated from outside or emerges from inside. Though the overall philosophy of fostering an active learning environment is clear, what is not obvious is the optimal way of creating the right setting. Further, faculty members, already facing an increasing workload to satisfy teaching, research and service requirements, do

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hollis, P., & Chandra, N., & Shih, C. (2004, June), Learning Through Teaching, A Collaborative Learning Strategy Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13022

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