Published in Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Portland, OR, June 12, 2005.
What are the basics to consider in becoming an effective teacher? So you are a new faculty member just assigned a course and a textbook. Your only teaching experience is as a TA filling in for your traveling professor while teaching directly from your personal course notes taken when you took the course. Sound familiar? Where do you go? Who do you call? How do you quickly prepare yourself to be an effective teacher? Or maybe you have a few years of teaching experience and want to improve your performance as a teacher. Where do you start in preparing the course and the individual lessons such that the students are engaged in learning, and maybe entertained as well? This paper will try to answer these questions by offering helpful hints from a team of participants who recently completed the ExCEEd Teaching workshop and applied its lessons at their home institutions. The ExcEEd (Excellence in Engineering Education) Teaching Workshop sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) provides the content and structure for presenting the pedagogical basics that every teacher should know. The workshop consists of 12 seminars covering how people learn, what constitutes good teaching, and how to prepare a good class. We will focus on the key points necessary to kick-start a teaching career or to begin to immediately improve a career. Over 300 workshop participants from over 170 CE programs have been touched by the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Teaching Workshops 1999-2003, the ExcEEd 2004 (Excellence in Engineering Education) Teaching Workshop, and the NSF funded predecessor “Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering” (T4E) Teaching Workshops 1996-1998. This does not include the Mechanical, Electrical, and Chemical faculty members who have participated in T4E and ExcEEd. Five years of long term assessment data will be summarized to demonstrate the effectiveness and benefit of these pedagogical basics to the participants.