Die moeite werd om te lees oor onderrig in die Fakulteit Ingenieurswese
Papers worth reading about teaching in the Faculty of Engineering

Keywords: Engineering

Baker, A., E. O. N. Navarro, et al. (2004). “An experimental card game for teaching software engineering processes.” Journal of Systems and Software 75: 3-16.

Abstract: The typical software engineering course consists of lectures in which concepts and theories are conveyed, along with a small ‘‘toy’’ software engineering project which attempts to give students the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice. Although both of these components are essential, neither one provides students with adequate practical knowledge regarding the process of software engineering. Namely, lectures allow only passive learning and projects are so constrained by the time and scope requirements of the academic environment that they cannot be large enough to exhibit many of the phenomena occurring in real world software engineering processes. To address this problem, we have developed Problems and Programmers, an educational card game that simulates the software engineering process and is designed to teach those process issues that are not sufficiently highlighted by lectures and projects. We describe how the game is designed, the mechanics of its game play, and the results of an experiment we conducted involving students playing the game.

Bekker, J. (2005). “Teaching information systems with a project oriented course – a case study.” SA Journal of Industrial Engineering 16(1): 95-107.

Abstract: Many engineering students often find a course in less analytical subjects like Information Systems difficult due to the significant proportion of abstract concepts covered. To help the students understand them requires a teaching strategy other than the conventional. This paper discusses the use of a project-oriented course to overcome many of the difficulties of teaching Information Systems to industrial engineering students. In contrast with the usual approach to projects, where each group of students delivers an independent solution, the teaching approach discussed requires that the given class deliver a single, integrated solution.

Bot, L., P.-B. Gossiaux, et al. (2005). “‘Learning by doing’: a teaching method for active learning in scientific graduate education.” European Journal of Engineering Education 30(1, March): 105–119.

Abstract: This article describes an active learning method for the teaching of physical sciences and mathematics to engineers. After defining the challenges involved in the training of engineers, we shall describe the answers provided by our method, ‘learning by doing’ (named ‘Apprentissage Par l’Action’ in French), by introducing four key points: real-life simulation, the management of non-success, the result requirement and the different roles of the teachers. An assessment of this experience is carried out which emphasizes the factors paramount in the success of this pedagogical innovation. Similarities between our experience and other well-known methods such as problem-based learning, problem solving and, more generally, the concept of learning by doing coined by John Dewey in his philosophy of education, are mentioned.

Brawner, C. E., R. M. Felder, et al. (2002). “A Survey of faculty teaching practices and involvement in Faculty Development activities.” Journal of Engineering Education 91(4): 393-396.

Abstract: As part of its program assessment activities, the Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education (SUCCEED) conducted a faculty survey of teaching practices, involvement in faculty development programs, and perceptions of the importance of teaching in the faculty reward system. The survey was first administered late in 1997 and a modified version was administered late in 1999. This paper summarizes results from the 1999 survey that address the two questions: (1) to what extent do engineering faculty write instructional objectives and use active and team-based learning? and (2) how effective are faculty development programs at changing professors’ teaching practices? The results indicate that well over half of the 1999 respondents were using the stated teaching methods, with most attributing their use of the methods to their participation in teaching workshops and seminars.

Felder, R. (1988). “Learning and teaching styles in Engineering Education.” Engineering Education 78(7): 674-681.

Abstract: Author’s Preface — June 2002 by Richard M. Felder. When Linda Silverman and I wrote this paper in 1987, our goal was to offer some insights about teaching and learning based on Dr. Silverman’s expertise in educational psychology and my experience in engineering education that would be helpful to some of my fellow engineering professors. When the paper was published early in 1988, the response was astonishing. Almost immediately, reprint requests flooded in from all over the world. The paper started to be cited in the engineering education literature, then in the general science education literature; it was the first article cited in the premier issue of ERIC’s National Teaching and Learning Forum; and it was the most frequently cited paper in articles published in the Journal of Engineering Education over a 10-year period. A self-scoring web-based instrument called the Index of Learning Styles that assesses preferences on four scales of the learning style model developed in the paper currently gets about 100,000 hits a year and has been translated into half a dozen languages that I know about and probably more that I don’t, even though it has not yet been validated. The 1988 paper is still cited more than any other paper I have written, including more recent papers on learning styles. A problem is that in recent years I have found reasons to make two significant changes in the model: dropping the inductive/deductive dimension, and changing the visual/auditory category to visual/verbal. (I will shortly explain both modifications.) When I set up my web site, I deliberately left the 1988 paper out of it, preferring that readers consult more recent articles on the subject that better reflected my current thinking. Since the paper seems to have acquired a life of its own, however, I decided to add it to the web site with this preface included to explain the changes. The paper is reproduced following the preface, unmodified from the original version except for changes in layout I made for reasons that would be known to anyone who has ever tried to scan a 3-column article with inserts and convert it into a Microsoft Word document. Deletion of the inductive/deductive dimension I have come to believe that while induction and deduction are indeed different learning preferences and different teaching approaches, the “best” method of teaching—at least below the graduate school level—is induction, whether it be called problem-based learning, discovery learning, inquiry learning, or some variation on those themes. On the other hand, the traditional college teaching method is deduction, starting with fundamentals” and proceeding to applications. The problem with inductive presentation is that it isn’t concise and prescriptive—you have to take a thorny problem or a collection of observations or data and try to make sense of it. Many or most students would say that they prefer deductive presentation—“Just tell me exactly what I need to know for the test, not one word more or less.” (My speculation in the paper that more students would prefer induction was refuted by additional sampling.) I don’t want 2 instructors to be able to determine somehow that their students prefer deductive presentation and use that result to justify continuing to use the traditional but less effective lecture paradigm in their courses and curricula. I have therefore omitted this dimension from the model. Change of the visual/auditory dimension to the visual/verbal dimension “Visual” information clearly includes pictures, diagrams, charts, plots, animations, etc., and “auditory” information clearly includes spoken words and other sounds. The one medium of information transmission that is not clear is written prose. It is perceived visually and so obviously cannot be categorized as auditory, but it is also a mistake to lump it into the visual category as though it were equivalent to a picture in transmitting information. Cognitive scientists have established that our brains generally convert written words into their spoken equivalents and process them in the same way that they process spoken words. Written words are therefore not equivalent to real visual information: to a visual learner, a picture is truly worth a thousand words, whether they are spoken or written. Making the learning style pair visual and verbal solves this problem by permitting spoken and written words to be included in the same category (verbal). For more details about the cognition studies that led to this conclusion, see R.M. Felder and E.R. Henriques, “Learning and Teaching Styles in Foreign and Second Language Education, ” Foreign Language Annals, 28 (1), 21–31 (1995).

Felder, R. M. (2004). “Teaching engineering at a research university: problems and possibilities.” Education Quimica 15(1): 40-42.

Abstract: No abstract

 Felder, R. M., A. Rugarcia, et al. (2000). “The future of Engineering Education: V Assessing teaching effectiveness and educational scholarship.” Chemical Engineering Education 34(3): 198-207.

Abstract: In this paper we suggest options for answering most of these questions. We first propose principles of instructional assessment and summarize common violations of these principles. Then we elaborate on how to assess the effectiveness of both teaching and educational scholarship, leaving the evaluation process (determining what qualifies as satisfactory performance) to be determined by institutional norms and values.

Felder, R. M. and J. E. R. Stice, Armando (2000). “The future of Enigineering Education VI: Making reform happen ” Chemical Engineering Education 34(3): 208-215.

Abstract: In this paper we suggest steps that might be taken to create such a climate.

Felder, R. M., D. R. Woods, et al. (2000). “The future of Engineering Education II Teaching Methods that work.” Chemical Engineering Education 34(1): 26-39.

Abstract: Discusses the quality of instruction for communication skills and creative thinking skills in engineering education and the difficulties caused by the single-subject approach in different engineering majors. Provides alternative solutions to the problem such as irrelevant teaching methods, difficulties in implementing technology in classrooms, and the use of theoretical-based literature in engineering education. (Contains 79 references.) (YDS)

Fink, L. D., S. Ambrose, et al. (2005). “Becoming a Professional Engineering Educator: A New Role for a New Era.” Journal of Engineering Education 94(1): 185-194.

Abstract: Engineering education faces significant challenges as it seeks to meet the demands on the engineering profession in the twenty-first century. Engineering faculty will need to continue to learn new approaches to teaching and learning, which in turn will require effective professional development for both new and experienced instructors alike. This article explores approaches to effective professional development and provides a conceptual framework for responding to the challenge of becoming a professional engineering educator. The “cycle of professional practice” is introduced as a prelude for identifying what individual professors and their institutions can do to generate more powerful forms of engineering education. The article concludes with two case studies that illustrate the possibilities when faculty and academic leaders join together in addressing calls for change.

Harris, M. and R. Cullen (2009). “A model for Curricular Revision: The Case of Engineering.” Innov High Educ 34: 51-63.

Abstract: The ability to teach one’s self is a critical skill for workers in the 21st century because of the rapidity of change and innovation. To educate students to meet this challenge, we need to re-envision curriculum with the goal of producing graduates who have the ability to complete the transition from novice to expert after graduation and continue to deepen their expertise throughout their careers. Using engineering education as a model of current efforts in curricular revision, we present a method for curricular review based on learning types in order to design an undergraduate experience that is transformative and congruent with a learner-centered approach.

Herkert, J., R (2005). “Ways of Thinking about and Teaching Ethical Problem Solving: Microethics and Macroethics in Engineering.” Science and Engineering Ethics 11(3): 373-385.

Abstract: Engineering ethics entails three frames of reference: individual, professional, and social. “Micro-ethics” considers individuals and internal relations of the engineering profession; “macro-ethics” applies to the collective social responsibility of the profession and to societal decisions about technology. Most research and teaching in engineering ethics, including online resources, has had a “micro” focus. Mechanisms for incorporating macro-ethical perspectives include: integrating engineering ethics and science, technology and society (STS); closer integration of engineering ethics and computer ethics; and consideration of the influence of professional engineering societies and corporate social responsibility programs on ethical engineering practice. Integrating macro-ethical issues and concerns in engineering ethics involves broadening the context of ethical problem solving. This in turn implies: developing courses emphasizing both micro and macro perspectives, providing faculty development that includes training in both STS and practical ethics; and revision of curriculum materials, including online resources. Multidisciplinary collaboration is recommended 1) to create online case studies emphasizing ethical decision making in individual, professional, and societal contexts; 2) to leverage existing online computer ethics resources with relevance to engineering education and practice; and 3) to create transparent linkages between public policy positions advocated by professional societies and codes of ethics.

Lightsey, R. H. (2000). “Engineering Management Training: Comparing Experiential versus Lecture Methods of Instruction ” Acquisition Review Quarterly – Winter: 1-18.

Abstract: While many studies have compared passive and active instructional methods, none provides statistical evidence that one method is clearly superior. When the subject matter to be taught is technical in nature, however, the experiential method has been shown to be more effective in terms of both student reactions and learning.

Nisbet, J. B., N. J. Entwistle, et al. (2005). “Staff and student perceptions of the teaching-learning environment: a case study.” International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education 42(1).

Abstract: This case study forms part of a large-scale project on Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses ( It is based on questionnaires and interviews with students and staff in a post-1992 university, on a final-year module in analogue electronics. Both staff and students highlight the importance of coherence, continuity and connectedness in teaching and learning over the course of the degree.

Rugarcia, A., R. M. Felder, et al. (2000). “The future of engineering education I. A vision for a new century.” Chemical Engineering Education 34(1): 16-25.

Abstract: Describes the changes in teaching methods in engineering classrooms over the last 60 years and implementations by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in curriculum not only of mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals, but also communication and lifelong learning skills. Lists ABET Engineering Criteria required skills. (Contains 52 references.) (YDS)

Stice, J. E., R. M. Felder, et al. (2000). “The Future of Engineering Education IV: Learning how to teach.” Chemical Engineering Education 34(2): 118-127.

Abstract: No abstract

Van Dijk, L. A. and W. M. G. Jochems (2002). “Changing a Traditional Lecturing Approach into an Interactive Approach: Effects of Interrupting the Monologue in Lectures.” International Journal of Engineering Education 18(3): 275-284.

Abstract: A study of the effect of interactive instruction in lectures on student results, study behaviour and student motivation is presented. The study indicates that changing a traditional teaching approach in lectures into an interactive lecturing approach is feasible. Such an interactive approach was shown to positively influence student motivation. Students’ increased motivation seemed, however, restricted to the classroom, as only weak effects on students’ self study were found. Student results increased when lecturers involved their students more in their lectures. It can be concluded that changing a traditional approach in lectures towards a more interactive approach can be considered beneficial to the students.

Van Wijk, W. (2007). “A non-zero sampling plan for the moderation of examination papers.” SA Journal of Industrial Engineering 18(1): 77-90.

Abstract: The moderation of examination answer books is an area where quality assurance is essential, and should be employed to ensure that an examination paper’s standard, content and span, marking, etc. are fair and reasonable. A scientific procedure is given for finding the minimum number of answer books to moderate (sample size) so that the statement – that no answer book in a set will contain more than a pre-specified proportion of errors – can be made with a pre-specified confidence. The procedure is an extension and enhancement of previous research [7], and guarantees a statistical statement in all cases.

Woods, D. R., R. M. Felder, et al. (2000). “The future of Engineering Education III. Developing Critical skills.” Chemical Engineering Education 34(2): 108-117.

Abstract: In this paper, we suggest research-backed methods to help our students develop critical skills and the confidence to apply them. As was the case for the instructional methods discussed in introduced in Part II.

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