As part of the Large Lecture Transformation Project, Professor Andersland transformed his required Electrical Circuits engineering class with support from OTLT Center for Teaching staff member Jane Russell.  Whereas previously, class time was spent in content delivery and problem solving practice occurred outside of class, the transformed course includes an innovative use of technology that allows students to engage with the material in class with support from the professor.  Now students prepare before class for the day’s topic by watching short online lectures and tutorials and working through introductory practice problems.  At the beginning of class, Professor Andersland delivers a brief mini-lecture to hone students’ understandings.  For the remainder of the class, students apply the day’s concepts by working graded problems delivered by an online homework platform.  The platform provides immediate feedback, and students are allowed three chances to solve the problem correctly in order to earn the points.  Recognizing that novice engineers often make predictable errors or stumble over the same disciplinary bottlenecks, Professor Andersland has programmed hints for each exercise into the online platform to help students accurately solve and understand the problems. 

Because each student encounters problems that invoke the same concept with slightly different numbers, students work with each other to explore process rather than simply sharing answers.  Professor Andersland’s course ensures that students reach the peak of their potential level of development by working through problems in-class, with the guidance of the instructor, teaching assistants, and peers.

Working with the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology, Professor Andersland has engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), systematically studying and reflecting on the changes he has made to his course and sharing the results with others.  Early research findings suggest that students are better prepared, more engaged, score higher on assessments, and report more positive perceptions of the helpfulness of the course.

Resources

Resources