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Team Teaching that Goes the Distance: Team Instruction for a Broadcast Introductory Engineering Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Two-Year College Special Topics Potpourri

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1411.1 - 22.1411.23



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Paper Authors


Angela Minichiello Utah State University Orcid 16x16

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Angela (Angie) Minichiello, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Technology Education at Utah State University, instructs core engineering courses at the Brigham City Regional Campus. Angie is a registered professional mechanical engineer and has over 15 years industry experience as a practicing engineer. She holds a B.S.M.E. degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a M.S.M.E. degree from Georgia Tech. Her research interests include adult learning theory, blended learning techniques, and improved methods for technology based instruction. She is a member of ASEE, ASME, and IEEE.

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Tracy D Blake Utah State University

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Tracy Blake, a lecturer in the Engineering and Technology Dept. at Utah State University, instructs engineering courses at the Tooele regional campus. His industry experience covers a variety of fields including component and system level design. He has several years of teaching experience in electrical engineering at Arizona and Utah State Universities. His current position involves assisting in the building of an educational program that will allow students to take engineering courses at locations remote to the main campus.

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Wade H. Goodridge Utah State University

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Dr. Wade Goodridge, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Technology Education at Utah State University instructs Solid Modeling, CAD, Introductory Electronics, Surveying, and Introductory Engineering courses at the Brigham City Regional Campus. Wade has has been teaching for the Utah State college of Engineering for over eight years. He holds duel B.S degrees in Industrial Technology Education and Civil Engineering from Utah State University, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Utah State University. His research interests include metacognitive processes and strategies involved in engineering design using Solid Modeling, learning style impacts upon hybrid synchronous broadcast engineering education, and team teaching in broadcast environments.

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David Dwight Sam PhD Utah State University

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Dr. David Sam, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Technology Education at Utah State University instructs Materials Science, Manufacturing Processes, and General College Physics courses at the Uintah Basin Regional Campus. David has been with Utah State University for two years. Prior to joining the faculty at USU, he was a technical staff member at The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for over 20 years. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Science from Yale University. His current position involves building and improving distance education programs in the area of engineering science.

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Team  Teaching  That  Goes  the  Distance:   Team  Instruction  for  a  Broadcast  Introductory   Engineering  Course    The efficacy of team teaching, or co-teaching, as an instructional strategy is wellestablished in the general education literature [1], [2], [3]. Despite the method’sproven legitimacy, the mere mention of “team teaching” or “co-teaching” may,depending upon one’s experiences, summon images of collaborative, collegialnirvana or of a “who’s-in-charge?” edged chaos. For the better, team teaching hasbeen compared to a “…semester long jam session” with instructors who “…share adeep love for the material…”. [2] For the worse it has, on occasion, createdconfusion and contention rather than brought clarity. Many agree that the elusivekey to co-teaching success stems from the just right combination of topic and team:a topic of multi- or inter-disciplinary appeal combined with a team of instructorswho share mutual respect, an interest in expanding viewpoints within their owndisciplines, and a hefty sense of adventure. [2], [3].This paper explores the use of an adapted team teaching approach, called “team ata distance-teaching”, as an effective instructional method for pre-professionalengineering. This approach is developed for use with an introductory engineeringcourse delivered to (largely) non-traditional student audiences located at regionalsites. With this newer twist on traditional co-teaching, the team of instructors is asgeographically dispersed as are the students. Thus, the instructional platform iscreated to mimic the student learning environment.As described in this article, team at a distance- teaching is used to develop anddeliver, within a regional campus (RC) system, a required freshman level course inthe pre-professional engineering program. The course, entitled Introduction toEngineering Design, is delivered via Interactive Video Conferencing (IVC)synchronously to students located at four regional sites throughout the state by theRC pre-engineering faculty team. The faculty team consists of four engineeringfaculty members who share the overall responsibility for development and deliveryof the RC pre-engineering program. Introduction to Engineering Design is a 2-credit course taught every Fall semester that, for RC students, fulfills theintroductory course requirement from each engineering discipline within theCollege of Engineering (COE).In conceiving of the instructional platform for the course, the faculty teamidentified the overriding purposes of the RC course: 1) to fulfill the disciplinespecific introductory course requirements of all of the engineering departmentswithin the COE, 2) to captivate the student interest and excite declared engineeringmajors to STAY IN engineering and join the engineering profession, 3) to helpgeneral engineering majors decided which engineering discipline they want topursue, 4) to fulfill the role of a pre-engineering “hook” class to help undeclaredmajors to decide that they DO want to major in engineering.Based on these desired outcomes, the instructors improvised the team at a distance-teaching approach where they themselves, who each represent a uniqueengineering discipline (Civil, Electrical, Engineering Sciences, or Mechanical) andare physically located at a different regional campus, reflect the primary tenets ofthe course. Results from student course evaluations, course surveys, and instructorreflections on the course are used to comment on and assess the basic effectivenessof the instructional approach. References[1] A. Anthony, S. Ramasubramanian, C. Russill & J. Dumas, “Case StudyEffectiveness in a Team Teaching and General Education Environment,”The Journal of General Education, 52(3), 175-198, 2003.  [2]  H.  Beavers  and  D.  DeTurck,  “Shall  We  Dance?  Team  Teaching  and  The  Harmony  of  Collaboration,”  Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 30, April 25, 2000.[3] A. Fauvel, L. Miller, P. Lane & J. Farris, “Reflections on anInterdisciplinary, Community-Based, Team-Taught Adventure,” The Journalof Continuing Education, 58:40-46, 2010.  

Minichiello, A., & Blake, T. D., & Goodridge, W. H., & Sam, D. D. (2011, June), Team Teaching that Goes the Distance: Team Instruction for a Broadcast Introductory Engineering Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18948

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