Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Active learning techniques have been proven effective at engaging students in the course content and leading to a deeper learner, as opposed to traditional lecture-style courses. Additionally, research has shown that one of the best ways to teach professional skills such as communication is within disciplinary courses, which make the material more relevant to students’ career goals. This paper will explore the use of an active learning approach called student-centered learning in a graduate-level Nanotechnology course offered in a department of mechanical engineering. In the course students develop presentations as a means of understanding current trends, emerging research topics, relevant applications, and fundamental science and technology involved in nanotechnology. The students use materials developed by the instructor as a starting point to finding a related journal paper, which they then present to the class a lesson.
This paper will describe how peer (student) presentation was implemented as an active-learning process, placing students at the helm of the learning process, and most importantly, helping students to develop learning skills and an awareness of their capability for self- and group-learning. Peer presentations can guide students into developing and articulating their own, novel interpretation of the learning materials. Students are asked to expand their knowledge via journal papers and multimedia (e.g. use of PowerPoint, YouTube videos) and present their findings. The aim includes observations of students’ behavior changes as students shift away from a sole source of knowledge (i.e., a teacher-to-students pedagogy). The method of student-peer presentation also implements active listening and attention span durations by breaking class sessions into two parts: ~25-30 minutes of presentation-based teaching and two peer presentations of 10 minutes each. A portion of the class is also allocated to questions and answers based on a reflection activity and the notes from both the student presenters and the audience.
This paper will be of interest to those looking to incorporate active learning techniques into higher-level engineering courses while teaching communication skills.
Choi, C. K., & Barr, N. B. (2020, June), Peer Presentations as a Student-centered Learning Approach in the Nanotechnology Class Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35046
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