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Special Session: Innovative Pedagogies For Teaching Introductory Materials Courses

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Innovative Pedagogies for Teaching Introductory Materials

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Page Numbers

15.1084.1 - 15.1084.8



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University

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Elliot Douglas University of Florida


Cindy Waters North Carolina A&T State University

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Cindy Waters, (PhD. Mechanical Engineering NCA&T State University, MS and BS Materials Science, Virginia Tech) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor-Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical and Chemical Eng. at NCA&T State University, Greensboro, NC, in addition to being a part of the Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures. She has taught in the School of Engineering for the past 12 years. In addition to nano-film research she is working with the educational component of the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS). The center is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Michael Prince Bucknell University

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Michael Prince is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell
University, where he has been since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. He is the author of several education-related papers for engineering faculty and gives faculty development workshops on active learning. He is currently continuing the work of Project Catalyst, an NSF-funded initiative to help faculty re-envision their role in the learning process, and researching the use of inductive teaching methods to correct common student misconceptions in engineering. Address: Department of Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837; telephone: 570-577-1781; e-mail:

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Trevor Harding California Polytechnic State University

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

Innovative Pedagogies for Teaching Introductory Materials

Abstract – This panel discussion will focus on innovative pedagogies for teaching introductory materials courses. The first brief presentation gives an overview of the general characteristics of active learning embodied by the general approach of inductive teaching methods. This is then followed by presentation of the broadly used innovative pedagogies of Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) and Inquiry Learning. The implementation of active learning tools in a setting with a diverse populations is then discussed. Finally, the impact on a department's students and faculty of implementing active methods, such as problem and project base learning, at a broad curricular level is considered. After the panel members make their brief presentations, this will be followed by breakout focus group discussions, group reports, and a wrap-up with open discussion.


Engineers work across the globe on teams with major corporations. As such, students who are future engineers must develop skills sets for a changing technological environment where secure, lifetime jobs have become nonexistent in the new global economy. Effective pedagogies help facilitate lifelong learning because they develop self regulation which allows for ongoing revision of intellectual ideas and innovations. This panel session will present different approaches to engage students in learning of content as well as developing metacognitive skills for becoming autonomous, life long learners. The emphasis here is shifting the pedagogical paradigm from recall based teaching and learning to teaching and learning for development of a conceptual framework through reshaping classroom environment. The general research question addressed here is, "What types of pedagogy can more effectively graduate engineers who can succeed and lead in the modern day engineering environment?" The panel will introduce five research based innovate pedagogies. The breakout session will have group tables which will model various approaches and the reflect upon them to discover what barriers and opportunities are present for each of the various approaches.

Inductive Teaching Methods

Engineering and science are traditionally taught deductively. The instructor introduces a topic by lecturing on general principles, then uses the principles to derive mathematical models, shows illustrative applications of the models, gives students practice in similar derivations and applications in homework, and finally tests their ability to do the same sorts of things on exams. Little or no attention is initially paid to the question of why any of that is being done—what real world phenomena can the models explain, what practical problems can they be used to solve, and why the students should care about any of it. The only motivation to learn that students get—if they get any at all—is suggestions that the material will be important later in the curriculum or in their careers.

A well-established precept of educational psychology is that people are most strongly motivated to learn things they clearly perceive a need to know1,2. Simply telling students that they will need certain knowledge and skills some day is not a particularly effective motivator. A preferable alternative is inductive teaching and learning3. Instead of beginning with general principles and

Krause, S., & Douglas, E., & Waters, C., & Prince, M., & Harding, T. (2010, June), Special Session: Innovative Pedagogies For Teaching Introductory Materials Courses Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16885

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