Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.795.1 - 6.795.17
Preparing Engineering Graduate Students to Teach: An Innovative Course Design and Evaluation
Cathie Scott,* Molly Johnson,** Cynthia J. Atman* *University of Washington/**Agilent Technologies
In spring 2000 we designed and delivered a three-credit course to prepare students for careers in teaching. The course was offered through the industrial engineering department and was open to all engineering graduate students. Fourteen students enrolled—seven men and seven women— representing the industrial, civil and environmental, electrical, bioengineering, and materials sciences engineering disciplines. The course met for 100 minutes twice a week for 10 weeks.
The course content was defined by the instructors, but the instruction was (to a high degree) tailored to the understanding of the students because it was the students themselves who designed the instruction. The course focus was on reflective practice and on findings from cognitive science and education research and their application to engineering teaching and learning. Throughout the quarter, we tried to maintain a tension between theory and practice. On the theory side, students became familiar with conceptual change, memory, motivation, and other learning concepts. On the practice side, students were exposed to innovative teaching methods through the example of their instructors, through their readings, through exercises such as creation of concept maps and conceptual probes, through reflective essays and e-mails, and through two teaching assignments.
In this paper, we provide background on our rationale for course design and describe the course structure. We then show one student’s responses to a few of the assignments and activities used both to promote learning about the course concepts and to elicit student thinking about teaching and learning at different points in the course. Finally, we describe our course evaluation methods, summarize student responses to these evaluations, and provide our own reflections on the course.
Our Course Design Rationale
Ph.D. graduates who obtain faculty positions are well qualified in their discipline knowledge, but few enter their academic careers with any formal training in teaching. The dominant source of the conceptions of these new instructors about the teaching endeavor is based on their experiences as a student, and possibly as a teaching assistant. These experiences are dominated by lecture format courses where the student classroom involvement is primarily passive. Such
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Johnson, M., & Scott, C., & Atman, C. (2001, June), Preparing Engineering Graduate Students To Teach: An Innovative Course Design And Evaluation Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9664
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