(88d) Teaching Chemical Engineers about Teaching | AIChE

(88d) Teaching Chemical Engineers about Teaching


Heath, D. - Presenter, The Ohio State University
Rathman, J. - Presenter, The Ohio State University
Rohdieck, S. - Presenter, The Ohio State University

Knowledge and techniques which enhance student learning have been developed through rigorous educational research. However, chemical engineers are not often exposed to this work. Furthermore, the task of plunging into this body of knowledge in order to become a better teacher is both time consuming and daunting. However, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the Ohio State University believes that incorporating this information into the graduate student curriculum and providing opportunities to take this knowledge into the classroom is beneficial in preparing future faculty members. Therefore, a graduate student, the department's curriculum committee, and Faculty & TA Development worked together in order to develop the Chemical Engineering Teaching Mentorship Experience.

The Chemical Engineering Teaching Mentorship Experience is a two-quarter graduate-level elective course which organizes and highlights educational knowledge and presents the material in a way which is relevant to the chemical engineering classroom. The first quarter of the Teaching Mentorship Experience is designed to introduce participating graduate students to ideas and techniques to enhance teaching. Some of the topics covered in the course are listed below.

OSU policies and procedures. Students are exposed to topics such as academic misconduct, FERPA, sexual harassment, and disabilities awareness.

Teaching portfolios. The advantages of maintaining a teaching portfolio is introduced to students, and the participants are required to draft a philosophy of teaching statement.

Student learning. Students are exposed to basic ideas in cognitive theory, different levels of learning (foundational knowledge, structural knowledge, knowledge transfer), and learning styles.

Designing lessons. The importance of course planning, writing specific learning objectives, student-centered versus a teacher-centered classroom, and active learning activities are discussed.

Assessing student learning. Ideas on how to assess student learning are presented. Assessment is divided into formal and informal assessment methods. Formal assessments include graded assignment where the use of primary trait analyses to maximize the impact of graded assignments is highlighted. Informal assessment (or classroom assessment techniques) are also introduces as a method of assessing student learning on a more ongoing basis.

Assessing teaching effectiveness. One of the goals of this program is to make future educators reflective about their teaching and to understand that teaching is an iterative process which can continuously be modified and improved. This last topic introduces students to the idea of collecting feedback from their students on their own teaching and making necessary changes to their courses and philosophy of teaching.

Also during the first quarter of the experience, participants are paired with a faculty mentor. The participants use their new educational knowledge and also the experiences of their faculty mentor to plan and develop 2 ? 3 lessons along with the associated homeworks, test questions, active learning activities, and assessment devices. During the second quarter, the students take their lessons into their mentor's classroom, assess their students learning, and their own teaching effectiveness. To date, 4 graduate students have participated in the mentorship program.