June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1000.1 - 24.1000.9
Preparing Future Engineering Educators through Round-Table Practicum Course Discussions To create outstanding engineering educators, there has been a push for earliertraining of engineering faculty, starting early in graduate school, in hopes that newfaculty are better prepared when asked to teach as primary instructors. Many engineeringgraduate students are assigned or choose graduate teaching positions, often being placedin front of a classroom with limited teacher training or scaffolding. Graduate teachingassistants (GTAs) are often overwhelmed by the multiple, and at times conflictingresponsibilities of students in graduate school. This paper describes a semester-long graduate practicum course in an engineeringdepartment at a large state research university that acted as a structured forum for GTAs.This experience provided a sense of guidance for graduate students who are working tosimultaneously balance being researchers-in-training, students, and novice engineeringeducators. In weekly group discussions, students discussed a variety of topics relating tocourse development, pedagogies, and classroom experiences. This paper identifies thevalue of having a space for engineering educators to share all aspects of their teachingexperience. The engineering education practicum course is a semester-long graduate course,primarily offered to engineering graduate students who are teaching undergraduateengineering courses. The objectives of this practicum course includes: 1. Creating organized and rhetorically effective syllabi 2. Articulating correspondences and differences between education theory and education practice 3. Performing peer reviews of other instructors and constructively discussing peer performance 4. Productively reflecting on individual teaching practices to enhance or improve the student learning environment 5. Drawing on classroom experiences to develop useful formative assessments 6. Developing a teaching portfolio that articulates and illustrates each individual's teaching philosophyThe class met weekly for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and was typically a casual round-tableenvironment where students discuss a variety of topics related to teaching in engineering.While some class discussions were prescribed by the course instructor, many were self-selected by the students in the class. Class discussions were often supported with relevantengineering education literature. Student reflections of their teaching experiences werealso discussed weekly, as well as documented in student journals and e-Portfolios. Inaddition to teaching evaluations conducted by the course instructor, students conductedteaching evaluations of their peers, and a self-evaluation of a video recording of theirown teaching. This practicum course was found to be helpful to graduate students who arenovice educators because the course provided a space for learning through sharedexperiences. Experienced teachers could also participate in class discussions to sharetheir experience and their teaching approaches to help develop new GTAs for their futureprofessorial careers. The effectiveness of this engineering education practicum courseindicates that it has potential as a useful approach to GTA training and prospectiveengineering faculty training. This course could easily be implemented in otherengineering departments with graduate students pursuing academic careers. Engineeringeducation literature has recommended pre-career preparation for future engineeringfaculty, and the engineering education practicum course has been identified as aneffective approach to guiding novice engineering educators into future professorialcareers.
Kusano, S. M., & Murzi, H. G., & Shekhar, P., & Kinoshita, T., & Wade, C. S., & Goff, R. M., & Basu, D. (2014, June), Preparing Future Engineering Educators through Round-Table Practicum Course Discussions Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22933
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