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Turn/Team Teaching 20/20 Hindsight Experiences And Tips

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.492.1 - 1.492.6

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Paper Authors

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Mohamad Qatu

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Ajay Mahajan

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David McDonald

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

I Session 1261

Turn/Team Teaching - 20/20 Hindsight Experiences and Tips

David McDonald, Ajay Mahajan, Mohamad Qatu Lake Superior State University


Interest in cross-disciplinary courses for general education and in innovative introductory and capstone courses for majors has resulted in an increase in the team teaching method of instruction. This paper discusses the rationale for team teaching and presents three models based on current team-taught courses at Lake Superior State University. The discussion then contrasts the effectiveness of the team- teaching method in each model. The authors conclude that team teaching requires additional coordination and communication between faculty that is time consuming, but that team taught courses are rewarding for both the students and the faculty.


The recent development of courses that integrate a number of disciplines and project-based courses has created a need to use the special skills of multiple instructors. This need for multiple instructors is especially true for new general education courses and unique freshmen and senior level courses. As a result, the instructors often come from different disciplines. This team instruction approach has both strengths and weaknesses depending upon the course needs and the style of team teaching that is employed.

In recent years, a renewal of general education has resulted in an increase in both the quantity and quality of the general education programs.’ Two specific areas of interest to engineering educators are an 2 increase in courses that integrate ideas from a variety of fields and engineering-focused courses that non- majors take for general education credit.3’4’5 Engineering faculty involvement in both types of courses has been encouraged by the recent American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) report, “Engineering Education for a Changing World.”b These courses, however, frequently require the special expertise of multiple instructors in a team-teaching format.

The team-teaching format is also frequently necessary to meet the demands of engineering courses that cover a wide range of topics, especially introductory courses and senior level capstone project courses. Engineering educators are concerned today about helping first-year students to succeed. As a result, there is an emphasis on the development of introductory courses designed to support and encourage entry level students in engineering.’ These courses usually involve discussions on such topics as study skills and goal setting, as well as activities that develop a sense of community and exercises that introduce a variety of engineering fields. Due to the range of topics, these courses naturally lend themselves to a team-teaching format.

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Qatu, M., & Mahajan, A., & McDonald, D. (1996, June), Turn/Team Teaching 20/20 Hindsight Experiences And Tips Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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