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Preparing For An Academic Career Through Team Teaching As A Graduate Student

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1012.1 - 10.1012.8



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Paper Authors

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Timothy Murphy

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

Student Paper

Preparing for an Academic Career Through Team Teaching as a Graduate Student Timothy Murphy and Jamie Phillips

The University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


Many graduate students pursue their doctorate degree as a milestone towards the attainment of their ultimate goal, to be an educator. Unfortunately, many of these students will go to graduate schools where they will have little, if any, chance to develop their teaching skills in the face of the research workload necessary to obtain a doctoral degree. Many students will obtain their doctoral degrees at Research I universities, focusing primarily on research, and then end up teaching at schools where there is a greater emphasis on teaching. Typically, a graduate student will have the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for one or more semesters, but as these positions are commonly for lab classes or discussion sections, the student does not gain experience in the actual preparation, delivery, and assessment of an entire course. However, if the student graduates and is able to obtain an academic faculty position, that is exactly what they will be expected to do, most likely during their first semester on the job. Depending on what has been left behind by the last professor to teach the class, a new professor may have to develop all of the lecture material, a syllabus, homework problems, examinations, and possibly laboratory experiments. This is a daunting task for anyone, but especially so for someone who has absolutely no experience. Consequently, incorporating some type of voluntary teaching education into the PhD curriculum could provide graduates who are better prepared for their first faculty position and more confident that they are making the right choice in pursing a career as an educator.

In this work, a one-semester junior-level electrical engineering class is taught by a team of one faculty member (mentor, Phillips) and myself, a PhD-seeking graduate student (mentee, Murphy). The purpose of the project is to provide me with ‘real-world’ teaching experience that will help me as a future junior faculty member as well as help me make an informed decision as to whether a career in teaching is right for me. I will discuss my motivations for participating in this project, the lessons that I learned while participating, the extent of the time commitment, and the impact of the project on me regarding the two goals stated above. The results of midterm and end-of-term class evaluations are also presented to assess the attitudes of the students towards the project.

The Team Teaching Experiment

In the Fall semester of 2004, the course “EECS 320 – Introduction To Semiconductor Devices” was taught using the team teaching approach. This course is an introductory course in my field of study and is representative of a course that I would probably be assigned to teach immediately after obtaining a faculty position. There were approximately 100 undergraduate students Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Murphy, T. (2005, June), Preparing For An Academic Career Through Team Teaching As A Graduate Student Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15018

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