Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Associate Chair for Undergraduate Affairs, ECE Division
University of Michigan
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Tel: (734) 764-4157
The future success of technology fields depends on the availability of creative, talented, and highly trained scientists and engineers. Our goal is to recruit, educate, and develop scientists and engineers with specialization in solid state electronics and optoelectronics.
The traditional lecture method is often effective in broadcasting information to a large audience, but may not necessarily be the most effective technique of promoting learning in the classroom for all learning styles. My teaching approach is to engage students in the classroom learning process and to balance the effective traditional lecture format with “active learning” strategies. I regularly incorporate small group exercises, “minute quizzes”, and using students as teachers to encourage active learning. Inductive learning approaches are also believed to positively influence student learning, and may defined as learner-centered methods where students learn by connecting new information to existing understanding. In 2008-2009, we conducted a study in the EECS 320 course to assess the effectiveness of inductive learning strategies on student learning and student interest.
In Fall 2004, we examined a research project to team teach an undergraduate semiconductor device course for the purpose of preparing graduate students for academic careers. The primary objective was to provide an opportunity for graduate students to become involved in all aspects of teaching, reaching far beyond the standard graduate student instructor position. The benefits to the graduate student (teaching experience and comfort level), faculty member (mentoring of graduate students outside of typical scientific research), and students (renewed emphasis on the learning process) were studied throughout the project.
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