2008 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., May 6, 2008
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Learner centered? How engineering faculty talk about students when reporting teaching decisions

Jessica M. Yellin, Yi-Min Huang, Jennifer Turns, Brook Sattler - Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching and the Department of Technical Communication

Creating a learner-centered environment within an instructional setting is a goal which engineering faculty are encouraged to achieve. However, little has been studied of how engineering educators actually incorporate learner issues into their teaching. We report on this issue by describing how 33 engineering educators talked about learners in the context of talking about teaching decisions. In particular we characterize the range of dimensions mentioned by the educators, the source of their information, and the way they used the information. We focus on learner characterizations in three specific areas related to: interacting with students, student ratings and in the context of active learning. We situate this work in notions of theories of learner-centeredness and the current body of scholarship providing characterizations of engineering students and their learning. The findings remind us of the complexity of on-the-ground teaching activity.




Index of Symposium Presenters