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Self Teaching College Teaching

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.383.1 - 1.383.4

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Paper Authors

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Paul Tidwell

author page

Greg Walker

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

Session 2655

Self-Teaching College Teaching

Greg Walker, Paul Tidwell Virginia Tech


Preparing graduate students for a career in academia has become a substantial concern among college educators. A new professor must obtain funding, develop a research program and publish to be awarded tenure. Furthermore, effective teaching techniques should be acquired before embarking on a professorate position, While some schools have begun to develop programs to train their graduates for careers in academia, most college teaching programs in engineering are not well established or non-existent. For a graduate student to acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to begin an effective teaching career, he must rely on his own initiative because of the general lack of guidance in the school system. To aid academia-minded students, an initial guide for the motivated student to begin informal self-training in the art of college teaching is presented. Types of resources for teaching instruction as well as primary focal content for a basic self-taught program is explored. The outline of this process consists of course work and practicing of basic skills followed by a team teaching session. These suggestions are discussed in the context of a fledgling formal training program established by an educational institution. These topics will greatly enhance the next professor to advance his career goals.


There has been a recent upsurge of importance placed on training the future professorate as evi- denced by the existence of the NSF Engineering Coalitions Program, the growth of the ASEE, and the inauguration of university policies nationwide that support the instructional direction of doctorate pro- grams. Despite this remarkable trend, many engineering doctoral students who wish to pursue an academic career may struggle to acquire formal training at their respective schools and must create a program for themselves. The problem seems to be pronounced in engineering where students are being educated for technical positions rather than academia. Wankat and Oreoviczl recognized this void and created a text for engineers to learn to teach. This article should provide any professorial candidate a starting point for a self-guided training program to learn about teaching at the college level and Wankat’s text exemplifies a logical follow-up. The ideas combine the common experiences of the authors during their own struggle to learn to teach. The paradigms are by no means complete, but represent a cross section of information that has been most useful during the learning process.

This suggested program strives to fulfill three primary goals outlined below, that should be met as a prerequisite to becoming a college professor. The guidelines are general enough to provide university and college administrators an outline of a college instruction training program. Furthermore, the guidelines are

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Tidwell, P., & Walker, G. (1996, June), Self Teaching College Teaching Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015