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EE375 Teaching Techniques for Electrical Engineering
Fall 2013

Prof. Ronald Fearing
Office Hours (725 Sutardja Dai Hall) Tues 340-430 pm, Fri 130-230 pm, or email for appointment.

1) Make teaching more rewarding for yourself and your students
2) Becoming a more effective communicator
3) Supporting, advice, guidance for GSIs

1) learning best practices (tactics)
2) identifying underlying principles (strategy)
3) engineering new methods
4) trials, feedback, self-improvement
5) avoiding pitfalls


EE375 on Piazza

Reading highlight: Torch or Fire Hose from MIT OCW link
Midterm evaluations: link

Current Quote

  • Phil Jackson, NBA Coach: "You are only a success at the moment that you do a successful act. " Courtesy of Erix Xiao.

  • 11/14
  • Howard Nemerov: ``A teacher is a person who never says anything once.'' Courtesy of Kristel Deems
  • Paul Halmos, ``The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.'' Courtesy of Aaron Bestick.
  • Richard P. Feynman: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong" Courtesy of Steven Callender
  • Horace Mann: "A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron."
    Confucius: "Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three." Courtesy of Rashmi K. Vinayak
  • Dr. Seuss: "You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself sitting alone in a room. " Courtesy of Dan Calderone
  • Robertson Davies: ``To see someone fall (which will teach him not to fall again) when a word from you would keep him on his feet but ignorant of an important danger, is one of the tasks of the teacher that calls for special energy, because holding in is more demanding than crying out.'' Courtesy of Walid Krichene
  • Clark Kerr: ``"We started out in our Master Plan asking the state to commit itself. to create a place in higher education for every single young person who had a high school degree. That was our first and basic commitment. It was the first time in the history of any state in the United States, or any nation in the world, where such a commitment was made." Courtesy of Ben Keller
  • Quotes: Bill Watterson: ``Calvin: As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You've taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations.''
    Bertrand Russell: ``Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.'' Courtesy of Ana S. Rufino Ferreira

  • 11/7
  • ``A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'' ``Starting is half the task/Well begun is half-done.'' courtesy of Stephen Twigg
  • ``Knowledge takes you from A to B, Imagination takes you everywhere.'' courtesy of Samarth Bhargava

  • 10/10
  • Henry Youngman: ``A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.'' courtesy of James Ferrara.

  • 8/29

    “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” -- Leonardo da Vinci

    Previous Quotes

    EE375 Course Requirements (P/NP) or (S/U)
  • Attendance and active participation in class. (>= 10/12 meetings). 2 minute ``nugget'' of the day report for each class. (Please contact instructor for a makeup assignment if you miss more than 2 classes.)
  • Weekly teaching log containing techniques tried, successes, failures, observations, questions, problems. Emailed to instructor by midnight Tuesday.
    Format of teaching log:
      Please describe at least one interesting technique, experience, question, problem, insight, or issue
    which arose this week.
  • Pair up with another GSI and video your partner's discussion section. Due by 9/19/2013.
  • 10 minute mini-lecture to EE375 class on topic of your interest, using blackboard. Level should be understandable by a first year EECS undergrad.
  • Supply one quote (attributed or orginal) related to teaching or learning which you find compelling. Briefly explain to class why you chose this quote.
  • Honest and ethical conduct. All work submitted to the class must be your own or attributed. The penalty for unethical conduct will a grade of U or NP and a letter will be written to your department file and the campus Office of Student Conduct.

  • Course Schedule
    530 pm 540 pm 550 pm

    Lecture #1 
    Lecture #2   
    Lecture #3   
    EE375 course overview, requirements, introductions. The Basics. Launch questions. Discussion section pointers.

    Lab section pointers
    Ben Keller
    Technology (Blackboard, etc)
    Steven Bailey Dan Calderone
    Engaging and Getting Feedback Joseph Corea Seyedshahin Ashraf Peng Zheng
    Six Ways to Discourage Learning
    Learning by Doing: The philosophy and strategies of active learning

    Lingqi Wu Walid Krichene
    Office Hour Pointers
    Daniel Haas
    Ethics Case Studies
    Ethics in Teaching
    Negotiating the TA-Student Relationship
    Ana S R Ferreira
    Max Balandat
    Expecting and Ensuring Honesty

    Lillian Ratliff James Ferrara
    Matching Learning Styles 
    R.P. Boas, Can we make Mathematics Intelligible?
    Rashmi K.V. (Panda) Evan Sparks
    Teaching Synthesis vs. Analysis
    Teaching Novice vs. Expert problem solving

    T.J. Tsai
    Steven Callender Eric Xiao
    Teaching Problem Solving
    Teaching Problem Solving, J.E. Stice
    Stephen Twigg
    Patrick Li Xi Chen
    Lessons Learned from Teaching
    1. Joanne Lo 2. Aaron Bestick 3. Jerome Thai

    4. Kristel Deems 5. Samarth Bhargava


    This is a really useful reference, moved here to high light:

  • Tools for Teaching, Davis, B.G.; 2nd edition, 2009. LINK

  • The links following are courtesy of Daniel Haas, Fall 2013

  • Journal of Research in Science Teaching: link
  • International Journal of Science Education: link
  • Journal of Engineering Education: link
  • Computer Science Education: link
  • "Designing contributing student pedagogies to promote students' intrinsic motivation to learn": link
  • "Validation of a Survey for Graduate Teaching Assistants: Translating Theory to Practice": link
  • "Why Do Students Choose Engineering? A Qualitative, Longitudinal Investigation of Students' Motivational Values": link

  • The links following are courtesy of Eric Xiao, Fall 2013

  • Radical new teaching methodology: link
  • Brain based learning: link
  • Improving Memory: link
  • Learning for Introverts: link

  • The link following is courtesy of Ben Keller, Fall 2013

    Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains

    The links following are courtesy of Peter Chen, Fall 2013

  • Bret Victor's vision of how to teach programming
  • Bertrand Russell's advice on teaching
  • Khan Academy founder's thoughts on reinventing education
  • The links following are courtesy of Evan Sparks, Fall 2013

    1. How to create memorable lectures. LINK
    2. UCB Teaching Guide for GSIs LINK
    3. Teaching Reflective Skills LINK
    4. UCSB Guide to Teaching Large Classes link
    5. Teaching Engineering at Research Universities link

    The following are courtesy of Prof. Robert Full, Dept. of Integ. Biology UCB

    1. Report to the President: Engage to Excel: producing 1 million additional college graduates with degrees in STEM Feb. 2012. link
    2. J. Handelsman et al. ``Scientific Teaching,'' Science 23 April 2004: 521-522. link
    3. DeHann, R.L. (2005). The Impending Revolution in Undergraduate Science Education. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14(2), 253-269. link
    4. Reuter, R. (2009). Online versus in the Classroom: Student Success in a Hands-On Lab Class. American Journal of Distance Education, 23(3), 151-162. link
    5. ``Engineering Education and the Development of Expertise,'' Journal of Engineering Education Volume 100, Issue 1, pages 123.150, January 2011 link

    The following are courtesy of Humberto G.

    1. Mathematical Association of America (MAA): LINK
    2. MIT (The torch or the firehose, Book): LINK ***** check it out!
    3. Purdue:Teaching Engineering LINK ****

    The following are courtesy of Janani V.

    1. Hundreds of teaching tips from Honolulu LINK
    2. U Oregon: teaching laboratory classes LINK
    3. GMU Teaching Strategies Pointers LINK

    The following links are courtesy of Lu Y.

    1. OSU Faculty and TA Development LINK
    2. Stanford Teaching and Learning LINK

    The following links are courtesy of Guanxi C.

    1. Univ. of Washington LINK
    2. Abelson and Greenspun- Teaching Software Engineering LINK

    The following links are courtey of Lu Y.

    1. Teaching Electromagnetics pdf
    2. Teaching Professional and Ethical Aspects of Electrical Engineering to a Large Class pdf
    3. Do Grades and Tests Predict Adult Accomplishment? pdf
  • Education Quotes, LINK
  • Power point pitfalls LINK
  • R.P. Boas, Can we make Mathematics Intelligible? LINK
  • A teachers dozen: Fourteen general, research-based principles for improving higher learning in our classrooms. AAHE Bulletin 45 (8): 313. LINK
  • B. Gross Davis, L. Wood, and R.C. Wilson, A Berkeley Compendium of Suggestions for Teaching with Excellence LINK
  • Tools for Teaching, Davis, B.G., Jossey-Bass; San Francisco, 1993. LINK

  • Sorry, dead links, need to be updated:
    Rutgers: LINK
    Duke: LINK
    Eastern Kentucky University LINK

  • Problem solving in New Caledonia Crows TrapTube / MetaTool / Tool Making

  • Prof. Richard Feynman on teaching. LINK
  • Resources

    Indicators of Distress
    Be Well
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    Online Depression awareness
    Online mental health self-screening