Unit 3: Incorporating Pedagogical Techniques in an Engaging Design
By the end of this unit, you should be able to identify how best to integrate your pedagogical techniques into your engineering classroom
- You should be able to identify different instructional strategies to effectively integrate pedagogical methods into the curriculum
- You will learn how to design a creative curriculum in your engineering discipline
- You will Read articles focused on instructional strategies
- You will further develop your course-long activity using what you have learned during this unit
Article for this Unit
"Mismatches exist between common learning styles of engineering students and traditional teaching styles of engineering professors. In consequence, students become bored and inattentive in class, do poorly on tests, get discouraged about the courses, the curriculum, and themselves, and in some cases change to other curricula or drop out of school." (Felder, 1988, p. 674)
Engagement of students is very important in education. It can be a large factor in how well a student learns the material. As stated in the previous unit, the traditional lecture-homework-quiz is not the most engaging or though-provoking method of education. You have learned about different pedagogical techniques that can improve a student's education. However, if these techniques are not implement correctly, they too can end up being disengaging to the students. If this is the case,
how do you create an engaging curriculum with the different pedagogical techniques?
Every student learns differently
Every person has different preferred ways of absorbing information. Some are auditory learners, others visual learners. This preference plays a large role in student engagement. If there are many hands-on learners in your class, but you most teach via lecture, many students will struggle to efficiently learn. As an instructor, it is important to get across the information as effectively as possible.
Please read this article: File:Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education.pdf. The authors cover the different learning styles and instructional strategies to help engage those students.
Given that engineering is a very hands-on and visual career, it is unfortunate that many schools stick to a more auditory lecture style engineering education. While there are definitely auditory engineers, a large majority of students interested in engineering learn very well visually and hand-on. This is a very important aspect to consider when designing your creative engineering curriculum.
Accounting for students' learning styles
In order to design an effective curriculum, it is important the teacher understands the students' situation:
- How well do they know the information?
- How do they best take in knowledge?
- What is the end goal of these students?
Asking these sort of questions will great important your ability to effectively create an engaging curriculum for your class. Provide opportunities for the different student learning styles. For example:
- For very hands-on students, provide a means for them to learn the material through active activities.
- Show pictures and videos for the visual learners.
- Have an accompanying audio or lecture with any visuals for auditory learners.
By identifying these and incorporating them into your classroom, you will be able to better reach more of your students! I highly recommend reading Felder's full article. I delves much deeper into this topic and will be a great resource.
It is also important that the students find interest in the material. This could be through personal interest or if students find importance in what they are learning. By provide students with real-world examples of how they can affect this world or how engineering affects their personal lives, they will see the importance of engineering and will naturally take more interest in it.
Creating an engaging engineering classroom
This unit helped you better understand your students personal learning styles. By knowing this, you will be able to create a curriculum more catered to your students. Resulting in a more engaging class and better educational experience.
Continuing the activity from the previous two units, how do your students best learn? What is their learning style? What are they interested in? These questions will help you get a fuller picture of your class. Consider the questions below and write down your answers.
- What are some of the most common learning styles in your class?
- What could you implement into your curriculum to foster those students' learning?
- What interests do your students have?
- How could you cater to your students' interests?
After completing this short written assignment, review what you wrote. These questions will help you personalize your curriculum to your students. By taking the pedagogical techniques you learned previously and combining them with this units information, you will be able to create the best creative problem-solving engaging engineering classroom. In the next unit, you will begin to look into how to actually bring everything that you learned into your classroom.
After completing Unit 3, continue on to Unit 4: Develop and Improve on Your Creative Engineering Curriculum
Click here to return to the mini-course main page.