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Perspectives of Teaching a Deaf Student in the Material and Energy Balances Course

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Adaptive and Supportive Learning Environments

Tagged Divisions

Minorities in Engineering and Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1037.1 - 25.1037.11



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Paper Authors

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Shiran Zhavian

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James P. Abulencia Manhattan College

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Perspectives of Teaching a Hearing-Impaired Student in the Material and Energy Balances Course This paper discusses the experience of a hearing-impaired student and theirprofessor in a material and energy balances course. This non-traditional combination waschallenging for a few reasons. First, from a professor’s perspective, it was initiallydistracting to have two interpreters by your side in the front of the classroom. Second,from an interpreter’s perspective, it was difficult to come up with the appropriate sign fortechnical terms very quickly. Finally, from the hearing-impaired student’s perspective,the amount of information conveyed was less than that compared to the other studentsbecause of the bottleneck with the interpreters. To address this, the professor provided the interpreters a copy of the course notesat the beginning of every lecture. One interpreter will sign the first topic in parallel withthe professor, while the second preps for the second topic. They switch roles during thetransition. This on/off system has significantly improved communication to the student. Despite this improvement, professors who have a hearing-impaired student mustbe aware of several issues. First, there is a lag time in communicating because thespoken word passes through an intermediate before the information is received. This issignificant because the student misses an opportunity to answer questions that theprofessor verbally asks the class. Second, learning appears to be better with lecturesdelivered in Powerpoint versus the traditional chalk and blackboard. This may be due tothe fact that all of the information is presented simultaneously, versus bits when writingon the chalkboard. Third, professors must be cognizant of any videos they show, becausemany are not captioned. Finally, professors should practice appropriate courtesy. Theyshould address and speak to the hearing-impaired student directly while listening to thevoice of the interpreters, rather than engaging with the interpreters directly. Perspectives from the peers of the hearing-impaired student and the interpretersthemselves will also be gathered for this paper, but have not yet been collected at the timeof abstract submission.I have no preference in any of the presentation formats (regular session,presentation/discussion, or poster).

Zhavian, S., & Abulencia, J. P. (2012, June), Perspectives of Teaching a Deaf Student in the Material and Energy Balances Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21794

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