Introduction to Industrial Engineering

By Jane M. Fraser

Chapter 3

Learning and teaching

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3.1 Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.

Chickering and Gamson present seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education, which I quote below. teachers and students should work to apply these principles, but you and I both know that not all professors do so. As a student, you can try to apply these principles, even if your professor isn't practicing all of them.

  1. "Good practice in undergraduate education encourages contact between students and faculty." I implement this principle by having lots of class discussion, by coming early and staying late for classes, by posting and keeping my office hours, by answering email as soon as I can, and by trying to accomodate students who come outside office hours. In any class, ask the professor for his or her preferred method for you to contact them with questions and to have discussion outside of class.
  2. "Good practice in undergraduate education develops reciprocity and cooperation among students." I implement this principle by having lots of class discussion, by having student work in teams, and by not grading on a curve. In any class, set up a study group with other students. You can ask others to explain your points of confusion to you, but also explaining a point to someone else really helps you understand that point better.
  3. "Good practice in undergraduate education encourages active learning." Learning is not a spectator sport. I implement this principle by assigning reading, homework, and other activities. In any class, do the reading, participate in discussion, do the homework, and you will find that you are engaged with the material in a way that makes learning natural.
  4. "Good practice in undergraduate education gives prompt feedback." I implement this practice by encouraging class discussion so you can receive feedback on your ideas, by grading and returning homework promptly, and by responding to email as quickly as I can. This principle is hard for a student to implement. If the professor isn't returning homework quickly, or isn't giving comments on written work, you may not receive the feedback you need to improve your learning.
  5. "Good practice in undergraduate education emphasizes time on task." I implement this principle by making assignments early and encouraging students to start the homework and reading early. I also allow students to redo all homework assignments, because revising assignments encourages you to spend more time and thus to achieve more learning. This principle relies on your for complete implementation. Set up your weekly schedule to allow you to spend time on each course.
  6. "Good practice in undergraduate education communicates high expectations." I implement this principle by expecting each assignment to be perfect. Essays should be well written and contain no spelling or grammatical errors. Mathematical assignments should be correct and clear. Treat each assignment as an example of your professional work. Because student work is not always perfect, revision of the work helps you achieve that professional quality.
  7. "Good practice in undergraduate education respects diverse talents and ways of learning." I implement this principle by asking each student to name an organization that we will use when we discuss each aspect of IE. I believe that each of you already has knowledge that will be relevant to our discussions and I hope that you will feel comfortable volunteering that knowledge in class. In this chapter you will be able to learn more about your own style of learning and about how to build on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. You can use that knowledge in any class that you take. Differences also include disabilities, such as hearing loss, vision problems, or learning disorders. If you suspect you have such a problem, get professional diagnosis and advice. Correcting your hearing or vision or learning how to compensate for a learning disorder can remove barriers to learning.