Asee peer logo

Pedagogy Including Differentiated Instruction That Enables Student Learning

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.975.1 - 24.975.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


John Marshall University of Southern Maine

visit author page

John Marshall received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is the Departmental Internship Coordinator at the University of Southern Maine. His areas of specialization include Power and Energy Processing, Applied Process Control Engineering, Applied Automation Engineering, Fluid Power, and Facility Planning.

visit author page


Carl Nelson Blue University of Southern Maine

visit author page

Associate Professor of Technology, in the Department of Technology - Technology Management Program / Information and Communications Concentration at University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME 04038

Research Interests:
Computer Graphics, Technology, Communication Technologies, Human User Interface, Graphic Design, Cognitive Ergonomics, Interactivity, and Technology in Education

visit author page

Download Paper |


Pedagogy Including Differentiated Instruction That Enables Student LearningThe participants populating our schools are becoming more diverse. They are coming fromdifferent cultures and have different learning styles. They also have different interests anddifferent levels of maturity. As technical teachers, we frequently teach a blend of theoretical andapplied engineering topics. Our goal is provide our students with the skills and knowledge theyneed to safely and accurately accomplish their jobs to high standards of quality in a cost effectivemanner.“Acknowledging that students learn at different speeds and that they differ in their ability tothink abstractly or understand complex ideas is like acknowledging that students at any given agearen’t all the same height: It is not a statement of worth, but of reality” (Tomlinson).A one-size-fits-all teaching method lacks the flexibility needed to challenge and encouragelearning in today’s effective teaching programs. Differentiated instruction, often referred to asuniversal design, is a teaching and learning style that is the result of neuroscience research onhow the human brain processes and retains new information (Rose and Meyer).Key concepts of differentiated instruction that will be addressed in this presentationinclude: Proactively use a variety of active teaching and learning techniques. More qualitative than quantitative. Merely assigning more or less work based on a learner’s ability is typically ineffective. Rooted in assessment. Evaluation is no longer predominately something that happens at the end of a chapter to determine “who got it”. Assessment routinely takes place to determine the particular needs of individuals. A teaching style that provides multiple approaches to content, process, and product. Content is the input, what students learn; Process is how student make sense of the ideas and information; and Product is the output, how students demonstrate what they have learned. Student centered. Learning is most effective when experiences are engaging, relevant, and interesting. A blend of whole-class, group, and individual instruction.In a differentiated classroom and laboratory, the teacher proactively plans and carries out variedapproaches to content, process, and product in anticipation and response to student differences inreadiness, interest, and learning needs. During the past twenty years, my teaching responsibilitieshave been focused on fluid power, programmable logic controllers, electro-mechanical systems,and robotics curriculums. In addition to lectures, all of these areas include a significantlaboratory component, both of which have benefitted from implementing active learningstrategies.This next phase of this presentation will provides participants with insights into some of the“tools” and “methods” utilized in developing an active teaching environment.Topics included in the “Learning” section include: 1) Focusing on Learning and Not Teaching;2) Problem Based Learning; 3) Facilitating Group Learning (Promoting Accountability, LinkingAssignments, and Stimulating the Idea Exchange); 4) Changing Learning Behavior Outside theClassroom; and 5) Preparing to Teach (yes in the learning section). Topics included in the“Teaching” section include: 1) The Seven “Good Practices” for Teachers; 2) Teaching withHospitality; 3) The Importance of Listening; and 4) Assessment Via the Minute Paper.The presented techniques are not cumbersome or extremely involved. In fact they are fun andvery straightforward. The purpose of this presentation is to learn more about these practical andhelpful teaching ideas that can easily be implemented into your classes and laboratories.Examples and brief case studies are utilized to increase clarity and understanding.

Marshall, J., & Blue, C. N. (2014, June), Pedagogy Including Differentiated Instruction That Enables Student Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22908

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: © 2014 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