June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Educational Research and Methods
12.1342.1 - 12.1342.20
Teaching 101: Initial conversations
The engineering education literature contains many examples illustrating the design of course learning objectives and appropriate assessment items to attain desired learning outcomes. Anecdotal evidence suggests this literature is accessed by only a small proportion of engineering academics. What is lacking in the literature is the investigation of strategies to lead and encourage research-focussed academics to gain expertise in these matters. The overarching aim of this research project is to find the most effective strategies for encouraging such research-focussed (and occasionally reluctant) academic staff to adopt theoretically based pedagogical approaches in their teaching practice, to ensure verifiable graduate outcomes.
How can academics in a research university be led to acquire, use and value theoretically based pedagogical practices, to ensure verifiable graduate outcomes?
This question is especially relevant in engineering education where teaching has largely, and usually most effectively, long been perceived as a combination of logic and “seat of the pants” good practice with little acquaintance and often a mistrust, with the underpinnings of education theory or even terminology.
In New Zealand the tension between teaching and research in research-led universities has been exacerbated recently by the introduction of institutional funding linked to a quantitative measure and ranking of individual staff research performance - the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF). There is a perception that the PBRF has focussed attention, even further than previously, on the improvement of the research section of one’s CV for career progression, de-emphasising time spent on teaching improvement.
Added to this potentially divisive teaching-research tension, professional disciplines such as engineering are subject to regular professional accreditation, which is currently requiring demonstrable achievement of graduate capabilities1. To do this effectively, teaching must take place with clearly defined learning outcomes and assessment targeted to evaluate the attainment of those outcomes at both course and programme levels.
For academic managers, charged with responsibility for the maintenance of teaching and learning quality, this is a challenging environment.
Internationally, it has been recognised2 that the recent changes of accreditation systems to outcomes based assessment, are beginning to lead to more scholarly approaches. The discourse and literature around engineering education, seeking to position the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the level of the Scholarship of Discovery (Research), has grown rapidly, as universities recognise that they have a
Godfrey, E., & Rowe, G. (2007, June), Teaching 101: Initial Conversations Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2297
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