Part of the Centre for Teaching and Learning TLS Catalysts: A Conversation Series on Teaching. This is the first of a monthly series of conversations with University of Alberta teaching award winners on their trials and triumphs in teaching.
Students can be bewildering and mysterious. Once we have an idea of how their learning styles may differ from ours, teaching and learning can move into a more harmonious space.
Engineering as a profession is highly regarded for its high ethical standards and commitment to ensuring that public safety is protected in an atmosphere of trust. In the early 1900’s, there was an almost magical emergence of technology — cars, highways, antibiotics, fertilizers, electricity, clean water — and engineers enjoyed a golden era and unlimited resources. Today, we are surrounded by collapsing bridges, a public that views all chemicals as toxic, and demands for technical innovation aimed at transforming the Canadian economy. Our students value balanced lives and the opportunity to make a difference in the world as much or more than a high salary. The value proposition has changed for our profession. Innovation requires a culture where mistakes are embraced as part of learning: but protecting public safety in engineering requires 100% reliability. In our culture, innovators are often attacked as a perceived threat to orderly and robust performance. The most innovative companies embrace both realities. How can we, as educators and leaders, uphold our core values of robustness and reliability, while fostering innovation, advocacy, and openness?
A handout for students based on Don Woods’ groundbreaking work and the text by Fogler and LeBlanc.
Active Learning – how to navigate practical implementation