Faculty Development: A Scholarly Approach to Engineering Teaching

Engineering faculty members are encouraged to pursue scholarly methods in teaching their courses. The recent past ASEE Year of Dialog (YOD) and NSF-sponsored “Creating a Culture for Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education” both underscore the value of scholarship in engineering teaching. The new scholarship of engineering education goes beyond answering the simple question of “what to teach,” but now includes “how to teach it,” “how do students learn it,” and “how to assess the learning of it.” This paper will discuss a scholarly approach to engineering education by encouraging faculty to alter their traditional teaching styles and adopt new approaches. The paper will discuss the various areas in which faculty can improve their teaching, and will give a brief overview of best practices in the classroom that have been proven to work. The paper will further encourage engineering faculty to apply both quantitative and qualitative assessment practices to demonstrate learning in their courses, and to write scholarly papers on their classroom successes. In so doing, faculty can attain a teaching level that they had not prior achieved. The paper will suggest a three-tier level of engineering teaching excellence that could be recognized and promoted by ASEE and other education organizations, such as ABET.

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