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people?

Teaching and Learning in Science

and Engineering

Brian Frank

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Faculty of Applied Science

September 8, 2007 10:30-12:00

Biosciences Room 1101


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Who's here?

  • How many in “pure” science?

  • How many in engineering (applied science)?

  • How many in health sciences?

  • Others?



Microwave circuits tutorial 14 l.jpg
Microwave Circuits – Tutorial 1

That's nice. I wonder when the next iPod

comes out?


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Outline

  • Purpose of science and engineering education

  • How we learn

  • Tips for teaching and evaluating science and engineering

    • Objectives: A Very Good Thing

    • Travel the road from knowledge to evaluation

    • Snore avoidance 101

    • Experiential learning strategies

    • Marking and evaluating on objectives

  • Tutorial tips


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Purpose of education in science/engineering?

  • Meet those beside you, form small groups of 3-4

  • Appoint a scribe (record your ideas on paper), a timekeeper (ensure you finish in time), and process manager (keep you on track!)‏

  • Come to a consensus on the purpose of science or engineering education (1-2 sentences), and bring it to the front of the room when done

why are we doing this (WAWDT?)‏

teamwork assists in maintaining engagement, improves retention

teamwork allows learners to help each other

teamwork allows learners with different learning styles to use their strengths


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Purpose of education in science/engineering?

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Acquisition of basic knowledge (“Facts”)‏

  • Critical thinking, lifelong learning

  • Measurement/design skills development

  • Professional skills (communication, teamwork, project management)‏

  • Information retrieval

  • Social and environmental responsibility

  • Importance of global workforce

  • Multidisciplinary nature of careers

knowledge

skills

attitudes

How do we establish an environment where students can develop these?


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Purpose of education in science/engineering?

  • In comparison with some other fields, skills and “facts” form “body of knowledge” that is critical for undergraduate education in science and engineering

    • Behaviour of materials

    • Chemical analysis

    • Kinematics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, quantum mechanics...

    • Direct relationship between the amount of text on slides and number of people sleeping in lectures....

  • However, theoretical foundations are only one component of education in these fields


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How do we learn: Connections fromneurophysiology

now is a good time to plug

your ears if this is your

background!

  • We learn by creating new connections in the brain

  • Connections are made to existing “circuits”

  • Since our brains naturally link new knowledge and skills to existing knowledge, it is helpful as a teacher to introduce new knowledge in the context of something familiar


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How do we learn (“Uhhh... What was that lecture about again?”)‏

  • Most of us have an attention span less than 20 minutes, most around 8 minutes

  • E.g. Study found that students recalled 70% of material in first 10 minutes of a lecture, 20% of last 10 minutes

  • E.g. Another study found that adding three 2-minute pauses in lectures for student work resulted in two-letter grade increase in mean scores

  • Peer education is very useful

R. Felder et al., “The Future of Engineering Education II: Teaching Methods that Work”, Chem. Engr. Education, 34(1), 26–39 (2000)‏

http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Quartet2.pdf

Ruhl, K. L., Hughes, C. A., & Schloss, P. J. (1987, Winter). Using the pause procedure to enhance lecture recall. Teacher Education and Special Education, 10, 14-18.

From: http://www.active-learning-site.com/sum1.htm


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How we learn: We are not yellow pencils

  • Cognitive scientists and psychologists have concluded: we do not learn the same way

  • Gardner: there are multiple intelligences (logical, kinesthetic, visual, auditory, interpersonal, etc.)‏

  • Keirsey, Jung-Meyers-Briggs, Felder: personality affects how we interact, including in learning environment

Use a variety of learning activities to reach a variety of preferences – combine lectures, written notes, teamwork, hands-on experimentation,


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Educational objectives and higher cognitive skills...

PhD Comics, Jorge Cham


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Educational objectives

  • Objectives in a lecture, tutorial, course, degree, and program should dictate content

  • Select tutorial objective based on course objectives

  • E.g. “By the end of today's session, you will be able to:

    • Define and evaluate gain, stability, and impedance match in the context of RF amplifiers

    • Analyze and design RF amplifiers using criteria including gain, noise, stability, power consumption, and impedance matching”


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Objectives from knowledge to evaluation

  • Objectives should include a variety of cognitive skills, e.g. Bloom's taxonomy

    • Knowledge

    • Comprehension

    • Application

    • Analysis

    • Synthesis

    • Evaluation


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Snore Avoidance 101

  • Use active learning to maintain engagement, improve retention, and teach to a variety of learning styles

  • E.g. Pause during lecture/tutorial, use small group work:

    • “What features should this new product have?”

    • “Think of applications for this principle/process/product in the real world”

    • “What products/processes use this principle?”

    • “How would you set up an experiment to measure this?”

    • “Solve this brief problem as a team”

  • Fuzziest point paper, 1 minute summary paper


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Team: Design a tutorial

  • 1 hour long tutorial, on a topic of your choice

  • How can you reach students with different learning preferences? Keeping them engaged? Allowing them to develop a variety of skills? Developing important attitudes?


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Snore Avoidance 101 (cont'd)

  • Study of “low-inference” (i.e. easily observed) teaching behaviours found that high student satisfaction ratings were highly correlated with:

    • speaking expressively

    • showing a strong interest in the subject

    • moving around while talking

    • using humour

    • showing facial expressions

  • Learn student names

  • Surprise them! Work in something interesting.

    H. Murray, J. Ed. Psych. (1983) vol 75, No. 1, p.138-149


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Experiential learning

  • People have different preferential learning styles, but a variety of experiences should be provided to develop a range of skills

  • Most people learn best through practise and reflection, rather than passive watching and listening

  • One popular learning cycle is Kolb's

Confucius, (450 BCE)‏

"Tell me, and I will forget.

Show me, and I may remember.

Involve me, and I will understand."


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Teaching Strategies - Learning Cycle

i.e. Predict/

observe/

explain

Source: Principles of Instructional Design and Adult Learning

Learning Styles and

Experiential Learning,

Niki Fardouly


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Your turn

  • Create an outline of a lecture or tutorial, on any topic familiar to all group members (e.g. high school kinetics, basic chemistry, etc.)‏

  • Structure it to use a variety of activities, and experiential learning cycle

why are we doing this (WAWDT?)‏

active experience

allows some time for reflection


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Experiential learning techniques

  • Project-based

  • Problem-based (commonly used in medical school)‏

  • Studio-style (used in physics, engineering)‏

  • Cooperative learning

    Use inductive techniques that emphasize start with relevant problem first, then present theory

What other techniques have you seen? What else could be done?



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Evaluation – Marking assignments

  • What are the major objectives of the course/assignment?

  • Does the work indicate knowledge, comprehension, the ability to analyze, etc.?

  • Discuss: how would you mark an analytical assignment (e.g. theoretical and mathematically based)? Do you take a mark off for each arithmetic mistake? Do you give “partial marks?” Discuss in your groups. Can you arrive at a concensus?

why are we doing this (WAWDT?)‏

active experience

explaining your opinion, and hearing others', can clarify the issues


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One way of evaluating work

3. Did the student extend their knowledge to create new knowledge, new applications?

2. Were they able to make connections between ideas

1. Do they understand the ideas(knowledge)?

See Sue Fostaty-Young,

Assessment and Learning:

The ICE Approach:


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Rubrics

  • Assignments are used for both education and assessment

  • If we want students to focus on particular skills, providing a grading outline is motivating

  • E.g. A table showing how students will be assessed on various criteria - rubric



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Tutorials – Valuable time

  • Extremely important as class sizes increase – some first year courses have 500 students

  • Can answer individual questions, teach in smaller atmosphere

  • Less intimidating for students

  • Opportunity for students to interact with a skilled practitioner

  • Develop higher level thinking (e.g. move from “ideas” to “connecting” ideas together and extending them to other applications)‏


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Tutorial case-study

  • Susan is a young TA and feels intimidated running her first tutorial in a large first-year science course. Partway through her blackboard session she feels the students are losing interest and not paying attention. At one point a student asks her a question which she stops to think about, and while thinking another student answers the question first. Susan feels that she has lost control, and uncomfortable.

  • What you would do to improve the tutorial?


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Running tutorials

  • Prepare ahead:

    • Ensure you are familiar with lecture material and current position in the course

    • Prepare to teach for the entire tutorial

    • Have solutions to problems done ahead of time

    • If your black/white-board handwriting is bad use overheads

    • Give an outline at the beginning

  • Set the room up so you can communicate with all students well

  • Don't try to bluff your way through questions you don't know


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Resources

  • So what if you have questions or want advice?

  • Course instructor

  • TA Handbook (available from CTL) - p. 10-21 discuss labs and tutorials

  • CTL Library

  • Dr. Andrew Leger (TA coordinator at CTL)‏

  • http://bmf.ece.queensu.ca/mediawiki/index.php/Engineering_Education_Resources

  • These slides are at

    http://bmf.ece.queensu.ca


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Final activity: Discussion and One minute paper

  • Discuss the session with your team. What did you learn? What was most interesting? What would you like to learn more about? What was confusing?

  • Individually record your thoughts


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LUNCH!!!

  • Feel free to ask questions

  • Contact information:

    Brian Frank

    brian.frank@queensu.ca