Session Type

Presentation

Room

PAB 148

Start Date

10-7-2013 11:15 AM

Keywords

large class sizes, multiple disciplines

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Teaching large size classes is becoming the norm in many engineering schools. With these increasing numbers come the traditional challenges such as meeting the educational needs of the students who have various learning styles. At Guelph, we are in the unique position of not only needing to meet the needs of a large number of students, but also to meet the needs of students focusing on different fields of study: being non-departmentalized, students in engineering at Guelph are grouped in common courses regardless of focus of study. This results in, for example, Computer Engineering Students taking the same electric circuits course as those in Environmental Engineering; we therefore find ourselves in the unique position of needing to not only adjust for diversity of learning styles and background knowledge, but also to ensure that each student has the required depth of knowledge to succeed in their future program specific courses. We attempt to address these challenges in a number of ways. To leverage the fact that we have many disciplines in the same room, we use think pair share (via clicker quizzes and problem based lectures) to encourage interaction. In an attempt to draw some of the more reluctant students into the course material, we introduce analogies from other disciplines to make the topic more comfortable (e.g., water analogies to teach circuits) and introduce applications that answer the question “why is this topic relevant to me?” Finally, to address the varying background and future depth requirements, we use simple introductory open labs and tutorials to bring every student up to the same level and provide scaffolded assignment problems to challenge those who will need more depth in later courses while providing more straightforward problems for those who do not.


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Jul 10th, 11:15 AM

More Disciplines With Less Course Offerings

PAB 148

Teaching large size classes is becoming the norm in many engineering schools. With these increasing numbers come the traditional challenges such as meeting the educational needs of the students who have various learning styles. At Guelph, we are in the unique position of not only needing to meet the needs of a large number of students, but also to meet the needs of students focusing on different fields of study: being non-departmentalized, students in engineering at Guelph are grouped in common courses regardless of focus of study. This results in, for example, Computer Engineering Students taking the same electric circuits course as those in Environmental Engineering; we therefore find ourselves in the unique position of needing to not only adjust for diversity of learning styles and background knowledge, but also to ensure that each student has the required depth of knowledge to succeed in their future program specific courses. We attempt to address these challenges in a number of ways. To leverage the fact that we have many disciplines in the same room, we use think pair share (via clicker quizzes and problem based lectures) to encourage interaction. In an attempt to draw some of the more reluctant students into the course material, we introduce analogies from other disciplines to make the topic more comfortable (e.g., water analogies to teach circuits) and introduce applications that answer the question “why is this topic relevant to me?” Finally, to address the varying background and future depth requirements, we use simple introductory open labs and tutorials to bring every student up to the same level and provide scaffolded assignment problems to challenge those who will need more depth in later courses while providing more straightforward problems for those who do not.