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Team Teaching Of Thermodynamics: Rapid Instructional Development In Young Academics

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

New Faculty Issues and Concerns

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1208.1 - 9.1208.8

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Paper Authors

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Suzanne Kresta

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Alan Nelson

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

Session 3675

Team Teaching of Thermodynamics: Rapid Instructional Development in Young Academics

Alan E. Nelson and Suzanne M. Kresta

University of Alberta Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G6 Canada


A large undergraduate teaching service course is often viewed as a teaching ghetto, where young academics learn how to teach by doing without any substantial guidance or mentoring. New faculty are often assigned to such courses during the first term of appointment and are expected to perform in the classroom without having formal teaching training or education. These new faculty are immediately confronted with the many content based aspects of university education, including lecture preparation, development of assignments, and writing of examinations. However, the successful educator must devote a similar effort to developing effective and efficient teaching practices based on student learning styles, learning objectives, and cognitive levels appropriate to the level of the course. The time needed to recognize and address diverse student learning styles, be an effective communicator, develop classroom enthusiasm through active learning and effective interaction, and to be flexible in student learning outcomes is often lost to the more urgent need to develop the course content. Consequently, student evaluations of the new instructor’s effectiveness and overall course performance are often less than anticipated, and the initial enthusiasm and energy for undergraduate teaching are lost.

In most instances, this is not the result of a lack of effort by the young academic, but rather the constraints of other professional expectations. The time demands placed on these young faculty typically exceed the number of hours in a day and they quickly search for areas to recoup time. With the expectation to “publish or perish” many reduce the effort placed on course development in order to develop their research programs. While many successful educators advocate spending no more than 2 hours preparing for each new lecture, inexperience with preparing a comprehensive lecture coupled with re-learning much of the material frequently means that new instructors exceed this recommended time allotment. The time required outside of the classroom to address student questions for a large service course further reduces the time Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Kresta, S., & Nelson, A. (2004, June), Team Teaching Of Thermodynamics: Rapid Instructional Development In Young Academics Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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