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Teaching Lessons From Engineering Feedback Model For New Educators

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade Inside the Classroom

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1073.1 - 8.1073.7

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Ramesh Gaonkar

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

Session 3475

Teaching Lessons from Engineering Feedback Model for New Educators

Dr. Ramesh Gaonkar Computer & Electrical Engineering Technology SUNY, Onondaga Community College Syracuse, New York

Abstract:* The Shannon s communication model is often used as a presentation vehicle in a teaching and learning environment. The model includes an input, an output, and a receiver or a transmitter. In engineering, we view this model as a open loop system. A classroom lecture by itself is primarily an open loop system, and many educational researchers suggest that the classroom lecture is less than 10% effective in learning. However, we as educators focus our efforts primarily on the lecture mode.

Now there is a body of educational research that suggests t hat the learning takes place primarily in the corrective feedback path. In electrical engineering systems we call this a negative feedback. The negative feedback is an appropriate term in electrical engineering systems, but in social systems, we can simply use the term feedback. In teaching, this feedback includes such items as classroom interaction, personal interaction of students and faculty members, homework, quizzes, and tests. In a learning environment, this feedback path is the most effective, and we as educators need to focus more on this path.

This paper identifies similarities between student learning and the engineering feedback model and discusses teaching techniques, suggestions, and behaviors that are most conducive to student learning.

Introduction: The traditional feedback model of an engineering system can be viewed as a good representation of our classroom teaching and learning processes. Shannon s communication model is often used to represent classroom teaching. In terms of engineering terminology, it is an open loop model, and it can represent one aspect of teaching - namely, the lecture. However, the presently accepted concept of teaching involves assessment of learning. If learning does not take place, there is no teaching. If we include learning is an int egral part of teaching, Shannon s model falls short in representing the teaching. However, Shannon s model with feedback, known as the Shannon-Weaver model, can represent the teaching-learning process, and this model is very similar to the model of an engineering system. This paper describes both the Shannon s original model and modified model with feedback and compares the modified model with the engineering systems model. It draws analogies between the engineering model and classroom activities and student activities and suggests various lessons t hat can be learned from the engineering model to improve teaching and learning.

* Supported by NSF ATE Project DUE 99-50019 Procee ding s of the 200 3 Am erican Society for En gineer ing Ed ucatio n An nua l Conf erence & Exp osition Copy right © 2003, American Society for Engineering

Gaonkar, R. (2003, June), Teaching Lessons From Engineering Feedback Model For New Educators Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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