In an attempt to organize myself for the fall semester course I tried to write down some of the ideas circulated in the today’s seminar, discussed in Bean’s book and also from my own experience. Here are the assignments structured by week:
I would start my class with the following question: What do you expect from this class? (5-10min).
To foster an environment where students become more independent and learn how to teach themselves I will also recommend them to create double entry notebooks as described by John Bean on page 108 of his book. This is particularly useful for students in sciences and engineering who need to question the physical phenomena behind the mathematical formulas and prove them.
2. Week 2
Assign a short essay about electronics & art with a possible field trip to MOMA. If a field trip is to be organized I would ask the students to relate what they have seen and learned during the field trip to what they are currently learning in the classroom and also how it relates to their personal interests.
3. Week 3
I would assign the students group projects which should be presented in both oral form (in front of the class) and written report. Their colleagues will have to comment (critique) on their findings
4. Week 4
I will also assign them to read at least one paper related to the course material and ask them to summarize it, find positive things and negative points about the paper, make connections between the paper and what they learn in the class etc.
5. Week 5
I would encourage them to apply for internships and prepare the essays required in the application process.
If the course has a lab component I would insist on having the students write more on their conclusion part (the students will be prompted to the ideas that should be discussed here). Best reports would be posted on bb or the open source website.
6. Week 6
In the middle of the semester, when the students are already comfortable with the course material I would ask them: Where do you think “the main topic of the course” (for example: AutoCAD or the parallel electric circuits or a logic gate) is used outside your field of study? Students will be encouraged to make connections between the topics discussed in their classes and others offered in different majors.
7. Week 7
Assign homework questions in which students are required to synthesize and use more critical thinking than simply replacing numbers in mathematical formulas.
8. Week 8
Ask students to comment in writing about a social controversy in engineering. For example students would be asked to discuss global warming due to anthropogenic sources versus biogenic sources or if the wars helped with the developments in engineering.
9. Week 9
It is my intention to invite a guest speaker to lecture in one of the classes. If a guest speaker is participating in the class I would ask the students to talk about how useful was this particular lecture, what did they like most etc etc
10. Week 10
Organize a field trip to the Brooklyn Navy Yard? where students will get exposed to the technology existing there.
11. Week 11
At the end of the semester I would ask the students to reflect on what they have accomplished in the class and if this meets or exceeds the expectations they had at the beginning of the semester.