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Transforming College Teaching Courses Into Authentic Experiences: Learning Through Diversity

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count

32

Page Numbers

11.1347.1 - 11.1347.32

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1347

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

biography

Sandra Courter University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Sandra Shaw Courter teaches technical communication courses in the College of Engineering. As director of the Engineering Learning Center, she also coordinates professional development experiences for graduate students, staff, and faculty. She has been involved with several NSF proposal. First, as a member of the management team for the NSF Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), Courter is responsible with a multi-disciplinary team for developing and teaching a course for graduate students on teaching science and engineering. Second, as a member of the management team for the Foundation Coalition at UW-Madison, she completed an on-line professional development program for twenty faculty from ten institutions.

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biography

Joan Kwako University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Joan Kwako recently earned her PhD in math education and will begin a tenure-track position in January at the University of Wisconsin - Duluth. She helped design and is currently teaching the course on which this paper is based.

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John Wright University of Wisconsin-Madison

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John Wright is a professor of chemistry who helped design and teach two semesters of the course on which this paper is based. Former chair of the chemistry department, he is an innovative scholar. As such, he was instrumental in two national initiatives, New Traditions and the National Institute for Science Education. Now, he is with the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning CIRTL).

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Deanna Byrnes Lawrence University

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Deanna Byrnes recently earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now a post doctoral candidate at Lawrence University where she is teaching science courses. While a graduate student at UW, she was the evaluation liaison for the college classroom team.

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Thatcher Root University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Thatcher Root is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He currently is teaching the college classroom course for the first time. He is piloting the course portfolio that has evolved out of the first two versions of the course and his insights will be important as other teach the course in the future. He is involved in other innovative curricular issues plus is the ABET representative for his department.

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Clif Conrad University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Clif Conrad is a professor in the School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Development. He serves on the CIRTL college classroom team and has taught a two-week version of the course for the last three summers.

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

Transforming College Teaching Courses into Authentic Experiences: Learning through Diversity Abstract Authentic achievement requires learners to “engage in disciplined inquiry to produce knowledge that has value in their lives beyond simply proving their competence.” (Newmann, 1991) While college teaching courses provide an important role in preparing future faculty in STEM disciplines, a more authentic experience was the goal of one already successful course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Similar to other courses across the nation, students write a teaching philosophy, design a syllabus and learning plans, and complete a micro-teaching experience. While the micro-teaching experience is continually ranked as the most valuable, the instructors experimented with making the micro-teaching more authentic. In so doing, they piloted a “micro-course” in which students identified real students, rather than their peers, to teach. The unique components to the approach involved both the teaching-as-research model and the authentic achievement model.

The microcourse provided the context for potentially rich conversations about teaching and learning and, therefore, for learning itself. However, results of the pilot indicated that the authentic microcourse experience was not as significant as the instructors had assumed. Rather, the components of diversity, learning community, and teaching-as- research were central to student learning; the basic micro-teaching experience returns as the authentic learning experience central to the course.

This paper describes the microcourse, an innovative approach to micro-teaching, the experience of students in the pilot of this innovation, and results from this “teaching as research” experiment. This research approach to microteaching provided an opportunity to try out different teaching methods and strategies for engaging learners; learning through diversity remains key to authentic experiences.

Background Designed especially for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, “Teaching Science and Engineering” provides a forum in which to discuss issues of learning, teaching, and assessment through the lens of “teaching-as-research.” We define “teaching-as-research” as “a deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and learning outcomes of students as well as teachers.” The graduate course is designed to promote the development of those skills and habits-of- mind, along with the knowledge base associated with high-quality teaching, learning, and assessment. Within the graduate course, students participate in a micro-course, an innovative adaptation of the traditional micro-teaching experience. The unique components to our approach are both the teaching-as-research model and the authentic achievement model.

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Courter, S., & Kwako, J., & Wright, J., & Byrnes, D., & Root, T., & Conrad, C. (2006, June), Transforming College Teaching Courses Into Authentic Experiences: Learning Through Diversity Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1347

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015