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Dr. Greg Evans 3M Fellow Lecture on Teaching Innovation


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Learning to teach is often a private process, that we pursue on a public stage. In contrast with the way we
instruct fundamentals in our classrooms, or discover new knowledge in our laboratories, teaching is most
often learnt experientially with little to no scaffolding or focus on underlying theory. Is this really an
optimal approach to learning how to teach? Is there perhaps a better way?
In this talk, I will share some lessons I’ve learnt about teaching. Drawing from the courses that I’ve
designed and delivered, I’ll describe instructional strategies and digital tools I use to enhance learning and
integrate transdisciplinary competencies such as communication, teamwork, and professionalism. I will
share my views on where I see education headed and how we might adapt our teaching accordingly, for
the betterment of our students, professors, and institution.

Published in: Education
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Dr. Greg Evans 3M Fellow Lecture on Teaching Innovation

  1. 1. 2018-03-26 1 EngineeringEducation Collaborative Specialization in Engineering Education The Long and Winding Road: Finding our path as educators Greg Evans Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto Ryerson 2018 EngineeringEducation Summary • My Path –Pedagogy –Course design • Our Path 2
  2. 2. 2018-03-26 2 EngineeringEducation My Path: Lessons Learnt • Pedagogy –Learning about learning –Active learning helps • Course design –Tyranny of Content –Integrated learning experiences 3 EngineeringEducation Making Connections
  3. 3. 2018-03-26 3 EngineeringEducation Lecturing for an Hour 5 58% 44% 37% 34% 28% 25% 21% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 %Remembered Hours Adapted from Ebbinghaus Forgetting curve data EngineeringEducation Iteration Helps and It Gets Easier 6 ebbinghaus-forgetting-curve/
  4. 4. 2018-03-26 4 EngineeringEducation Assessment Helps 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 5 min 2 days 1 week Proportionrecalled Study-Study Study-Test Adapted from Roediger and Karpicke. "The power of testing memory: Basic research and implications for educational practice.“ Perspectives on Psychological Science 1.3 (2006): 181-210. 7 EngineeringEducation Active Learning Helps 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 test score Attendance Engagement Percentage Measured Outcomes Active Control Adapted from Wieman C. Et al. “Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class Science 332 2011 8
  5. 5. 2018-03-26 5 EngineeringEducation Active Learning Cons – Takes up instructional time – Many students don’t like it…initially – Need to switch from sage to guide – Reduces spontaneity? – Doesn’t work in large classes? Pros – Can be collaborative and individual – Promotes engagement and reflections – Supports forced recall – Research evidence is mostly supportive1 9 1: Prince M Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research JEE 2004 EngineeringEducation Active Learning Strategies Simple Complex Debates Accessible explanation Think-Pair-Share Role PlayTopic Bingo Sample Calculations Vote-Discuss Felder and Brent 1994, Paulson and Faust 2005, Silberman 1996, Ueckert 2008, Reading questions
  6. 6. 2018-03-26 6 EngineeringEducation Videos Help: Explaining Entropy 11 EngineeringEducation Course Design: Tyranny of Content • Outcomes: What students will have learned, and retained • Assessment: What students will do to demonstrate learning? • Instructional design: Experiences I provide to enable this learning 12 Wiggins G “understanding by Design” 2nd Edition 1998
  7. 7. 2018-03-26 7 EngineeringEducation Triaging Course Content Important&effective Less important but effective Important but less effective Not important or effective 13 Importance Effectiveness EngineeringEducation Holistic Learning Experiences • From acquisition based learning to participatory learning • Move from individual learning to situated learning1 • From construction of knowledge to creation of identity • Problem based with adequate scaffolding2 1: Wenger and Lave “Situated Learning” 1991 2: Kirschner, Sweller and Clark Edu Psychol 41(2) 75-86 2006
  8. 8. 2018-03-26 8 EngineeringEducation Integration and Mixing Helps 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Practice Test ProportionCorrect Interleaved Blocked Adapted from Rohrer and Pashler Educational Researcher, Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 406–412 (2010)15 EngineeringEducation CHE230: Environmental Chemistry • Core technical course • Instruction based on semi-inverted cooperative learning design • Students in same teams of five for tutorials and a project • Cooperative learning1 • Peer instructions to promote reflection2 16 1:Johnson,Johnson&Smith J. Excel. College Teaching 25(3&4) 2014 2: Roscoe and Chi Instr Sci (2008) 36:321–350 2005)
  9. 9. 2018-03-26 9 EngineeringEducation Role Play to Reality: Environmental Consulting Design Project • Process – Students create their own environmental consulting company (Team of 5) – Bid on one of four RFPs • Instructional design: – Iterative with multiple feedback stages – Integrate 8 of 12 accreditation attributes – Practice field 17 EngineeringEducation Projects 2018 Sarnia’s Chemical Valley Portlands Soil Quality Mine in Red Lake Portlands Air Quality 18
  10. 10. 2018-03-26 10 EngineeringEducation 19 Instructional Structure Team Formation Workshop Letter of Intent Interim Proposal Interim Client Meeting Formal Client Meeting Final Proposal Final Presentation TeamWorks TeamWorks EngineeringEducation TeamWorks: Web Teaching Tool 20
  11. 11. 2018-03-26 11 EngineeringEducation Team Leadership Styles R E S P O N S I V E A S S E R T I V E Analytical Driver Amiable Expressive More More Less Less Adapted from Bolton and Bolton21 EngineeringEducation Team Skills to Effective Teams Organisational Contributes by organising Relational Contributes by building relationships Communication Contributes through communication Attend team meetings prepared Listen and pay attention to team members Exchange information in a timely manner Do their fair share of the work Seek-include input from members Openly express ideas and opinions Deliver their work on time Show respect for other teammates Promote productive discussion Help to plan and organize workflow Demonstrate accountability Raise contentious issues in a constructive way22
  12. 12. 2018-03-26 12 EngineeringEducation Formative Feedback Self Peer Relational Communication Organisational 23 EngineeringEducation Lessons: Tools and Techniques 24
  13. 13. 2018-03-26 13 EngineeringEducationEngineeringEducation Instructor Feedback 26
  14. 14. 2018-03-26 14 EngineeringEducation Our Path: Shifting Landscape • Society wants more broadly prepared students • Higher vs. hire education • The role of post-secondary education? • New players are entering field 27 EngineeringEducation We are responding!
  15. 15. 2018-03-26 15 EngineeringEducation Growing Expectations • Transdisciplinary competencies • Emerging Practices • Scholarship of engineering education 29 • The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century, National Academies Press 2004. • Goldberg D.E. and Summerville, M “A Whole New Engineer,” ThreeJoy Associates Inc. 2014 • Kamp A. “Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World Rethinking the Vision for Higher Engineering Education“ TU Delft, Second Revised Edition, 2016 • Harrison A “Skills Competencies and Credentials” HEQCO 2017 • “Some Assembly Required “STEM Skills and Canada’s Economic Productivity” CCA 2015 EngineeringEducation Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice • Guide pedagogical development and teaching innovation; • Integrate transdisciplinary competencies into instruction of engineering; • Promote inter-departmental collaboration and curricular efficiency • Better prepare our graduates for success and impact 30
  16. 16. 2018-03-26 16 EngineeringEducation Summary • Education landscape is evolving • Time to look more closely at – what we teach, – how we teach and – who we want to graduate • Many opportunities • Cultural shift remains a challenge 31