Outcomes of a Course Design Workshop Series Implemented in a Team-Based and Diverse Classroom Setting

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Hoffman, Darren
Bovenmyer, Karen
Kumar, Ratnesh
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Tabassum, Shawana
Affiliate Assistant Professor
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Graduate College

The Graduate College is responsible for more than 140 distinct programs across the entire spectrum of the university’s schools and colleges, including interdisciplinary and certificate programs, as well as for coordinating academic programming between the university’s undergraduate and graduate divisions.

The Graduate College was founded in 1916 to support graduate study in the university's land-grant areas of agriculture, engineering, home economics and veterinary science.

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Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
In 1993, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching was borne out of a collaborative idea of the Faculty Senate and the Senior Vice President and Provost Office to “support our faculty in ways that help them become better, more effective teachers.” While Iowa State University takes great pride in its research mission and commitment as a doctoral-granting research extensive university, we are equally proud of how teaching is at the core of our educational experience. Indeed, the bedrock of a world-class research university is its commitment to enhancing learning in the community of scholars.
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Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)’s mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. It was established with the intent of preparing future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty across the nation, to ultimately improve the STEM learning of all students, at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation. The three CIRTL core ideas are Evidence-based Teaching, Learning Communities, and Learning-through-Diversity.
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Studies provide extensive evidence that a diverse faculty and staff in academia helps bring a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and innovation.[1] In this regard, a 9- session course was taught in Summer 2019 titled Transforming Your Research Into Teaching, that provided 15 aspiring faculty with a platform to more deeply understand the significance of diversity and community in teaching and learning. In this course, the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from widely divergent backgrounds at Iowa State University designed a new course related to their own research work/interest, in a team-based and diverse classroom-based setting. The teaching-as-research question addressed in this study was—How Effective Teambased Learning (TBL) and Classroom Diversity are in Preparing Future Teachers through a Course Design Workshop Series? Graduate students and postdocs at R1 universities mostly strive to do research, while many of them aspire to land faculty positions that require teaching and leadership capabilities. Unfortunately, they hardly get any teaching training, moreover in a diverse and TBL environment, making a course like this crucial to their success. Course impact was measured using 6-point Likert scales and analyzed descriptively. Data and participant feedback were indicative of significant learning in effective course design from a diverse and team-based setting, something that other aspirants can explore in planning academic careers or after landing faculty positions, that they can implement in their workplace to develop a richly diverse and dynamic intellectual community.

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