ENE 68500


Tuesdays 1:30-4:20 pm, ARMS B098B, 3 credits

Instructor Information:  Prof. Heidi Diefes-Dux

Office – ARMS 1333, Phone – 494-3887, E-mail – hdiefes@purdue.edu

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to expose you to methods used in teaching engineering. The goals are to contribute to your preparation for the teaching aspect of the professoriate and put you on path to being intellectually active in developing as a good teacher. Specifically, this course is designed to help prepare you for college teaching, expand your horizons about teaching, make you think about and reflect on teaching, and put you in touch with resources that can sustain your development as a good teacher. This course is also designed to provide a small amount of practice with a variety of teaching practices.

This course is organized into three interwoven parts:

  • Teaching: Practical methods for teaching engineering students. This includes models of teaching, class content, cooperative learning, educational technology, testing, classroom management, and more.
  • Students:  Theories of student types, development, learning theories, and motivation. 
  • Artifact Creation: Teaching statement, unit of instruction, syllabus, test


Consent of instructor is required. Admission into a Ph.D. program in the College of Engineering (completed MS or MS-bypass).  This course is intended for graduate students interested in teaching engineering as part of their future career. 

Course Goals

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Create a personal statement of teaching goals, methods, and philosophy
  • Select and implement a variety of instructional methods
  • Analyze classroom practices in terms of students differences, motivation, and intended learning
  • Develop a syllabus for a course, including policies for organization and management

Potential Follow-up Course

ENE 506: Content, Assessment and Pedagogy The purpose of this course is to help participants build a foundation of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind or modes of thinking that facilitate the integration of content (or curriculum), assessment, and pedagogy for learning module, course, and program design. Rather than treat each of these areas separately we strive to help the participants consider all three together in systematic way. The approach is essentially an engineering design approach, that is, one starts with requirements or specifications, emphasize metrics, and then the preparation of prototypes that meet the requirements.

Course Reading List

Readings will be drawn from the following materials. 

Required Book

Wankat P.C., & Oreovicz F.S. (2014). Teaching Engineering. 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. 

Available free at: www.lib.purdue.edu/

Other Readings Will Be Drawn From Other Teaching and Learning Resources

For databases most appropriate for engineering education see http://guides.lib.purdue.edu/ene503

Journals available electronically through Purdue Libraries:

Engineering Specific:

  • Advances in Engineering Education
  • International Journal of Engineering Education
  • Journal of Engineering Education
  • Journal of STEM Education
  • And more… see Engineering Education Community Resources. http://engineeringeducationlist.pbworks.com/


  • College Teaching
  • Journal of Excellence in College Teaching
  • New Directions for Teaching and Learning
  • The Journal of Higher Education
  • And more…

Other Resources

Course Activities

This is a 3 credit course that meets weekly for three hours.  Each course meeting will be used to

  1. Revisit conversations from the last meeting,
  2. Guide critical discussion related to the readings and assignments,
  3. Synthesize and translate ideas into teaching practice, and
  4. Provide peer and instructor feedback on assignments


You are expected to actively participate in class discussions and activities.  Coming to class having read and reflected on the readings and completing all related assignments ensures your ability to contribute to the discussions and in-class activities.  The portion of the course grade allocated to participation is at the instructor’s discretion.  The instructor will notify you if you are not participating at an acceptable level.


You are expected to have access to the readings, your reflections, and your completed assignments in class.

Readings & Reflection

Most weeks there will be assigned readings.  In addition to these readings, you will self-select and read one additional article or book chapter related to one of the topic(s) of the assigned readings.  These readings must come from trustworthy sources (see Course Reading List) and provide more depth or a different perspective on the topic.  Self-selected readings will not be required the weeks of the Active Learning Lessons (see below). In addition, each week, to prepare for class discussions, you will write a short reflection about the readings. Each reflection will be no more than 1 single-spaced page.  You will report out on your self-selected reading each week.

Other Assignments

Various other assignments may be made to complement the course content (e.g., view a flipped lecture, complete a learning styles inventory).

Unit of Instruction Design (UID)

Working in teams of two (or three as necessary for our class size), you will develop a complete unit of instruction on a teaching engineering topic of your choice.  Each team will propose two topics; as a class, we will vote on the topics.  No topic may be presented by more than one team.  To aid in the identification of a topic, potential ideas can be found at:

This unit of instruction will consist of:

  • Pre-readings & Reflective Questions – one or two critical readings to familiarize the class with the topic prior to the in-class lecture.
  • Flipped-Lecture – a short (10-12 minute) online-accessible (multi-media) lecture on your team’s topic. This lecture, will prepare the class to engage in the in-class lesson. Flipped-lectures will be released to the class one week prior to the in-class lesson.
  • Active Learning Lesson – a 75-minute in-class lesson that employs active learning methods (no lecture) to teach the topic.
  • Homework Assignment – to reinforce or extend learning of the topic.  This assignment and its rubric will be presented to the class the day of the active learning lesson, it will be graded by the instructor, but it will not be completed by the class.  

A preliminary draft of the lesson plan, including the selected pre-readings, the flipped-lecture, and the homework assignment will be reviewed with the instructor approximately three weeks prior to implementation.

Dates for the in-class active learning lesson will be randomly assigned. Following the presentation of your Active Learning Lesson, ~50 minutes will be allocated for class discussion of the elements of your unit of instruction including the homework assignment. Then, 10 minutes will be allocated for the class to formally evaluate the instructional unit using an evaluation form, the items on which we will develop as a class. Your team will propose items for the evaluation form. 


You will prepare a maximum 1-page, maximum 2-page, single-spaced reflection that explores your learning experience with developing and implementing your unit of instruction. This will be due one week following the in-class implementation.

Teaching Statement / Teaching Philosophy

You will identify your teaching goals, describe your methods for achieving your goals, and express principles and values that inform your teaching.  The first draft will be a free-form (no written narrative) expression of your teaching philosophy.  The second draft will be a 2-page, single spaced maximum written narrative; this will not be graded but will receive instructor feedback.  Your final statement will be due during finals week.

Classroom Observation & Instructor Interview

You will observe and analyze a class session in an undergraduate level course led by an instructor in your discipline or closely related field.  You will also interview the instructor to understand their teaching philosophy and how that relates to the session you observe.  You should select a professor with a good reputation for teaching (e.g., member of the Teaching Academy https://www.purdue.edu/cie/ or department teaching award winner). You will submit a written report that applies the course readings to analyze the class session and interview.  Expected length: 2-3 pages, single-spaced.

Syllabus Design

Prepare a detailed syllabus including a daily course outline for one of the following:

  • a new undergraduate or graduate level course based on your area of expertise
  • an existing course that you believe you can uniquely make your own

You will write a reflection to (1) explain your rationales for the course goals and organization, assignments, assessments, and policies and (2) consider your learning during the design experience. Expected length: 2-3 pages, single-spaced, plus syllabus.

Test Development

You will write a 75-minute test and solution key for this course.  You will develop questions of various types and map them to the course learning objectives and Bloom’s taxonomy to demonstrate a reasonable coverage of the course content.  You will provide critical feedback on one peer’s test. Then, you will reflect on your test writing experience. Expected reflection length: 1 page, single-spaced.

Course Grading

Course Activities


Class Participation




Unit of Instruction Design:

        Flipped Lecture

        Active Learning Lesson




Teaching Statement


Classroom Observation & Instructor Interview



        Draft Sections & Reflections (3)




Test Development:


        Peer Feedback



Course grades will be issued on criterion-referenced scale as follows; minimum grades may be lowered, but they will not be raised: A: ≥90%, B: 80-89%, C: 70-79%; D: 60-69%; F: ≤59%

What I expect from you

While much effort has gone into the design of this course, ultimately it is your responsibility to learn.  I encourage you to: (1) identify your own learning goals and ways to determine the extent to which you are meeting these goals, (2) think critically, challenge your own beliefs, and work towards synthesizing ideas, (3) engage in class discussions, explain your insights and encourage others to explain theirs, and work towards making persuasive and grounded arguments, (4) engage in peer review of others’ course artifacts, (5) attend all classes, complete assignments on time, and come prepared for class, and (5) abide by Purdue’s policy on scholastic conduct (http://www.purdue.edu/univregs/pages/stu_conduct/stu_regulations.html).

What I expect from myself

My goal is to create a safe and engaging environment for learning. My responsibility is to take into account student backgrounds, make learning visible and push on prior conceptions, provide opportunities for students to achieve learning goals, and facilitate lifelong learning habits of mind.  This inherently involves active listening, being respectful and reliable, asking for and using course feedback, and encouraging a community of practice. 

Attendance Policy

You are expected to attend all course activities.

Unexcused Absences: Due to the high level of participation required of you in this class and the fact that we meet only once a week, attendance at every class is vital.  Attendance will be taken.  Your first unexcused absence will not directly impact your semester grade, but starting with the second absence, your semester grade will be reduced by 10% for each unexcused absence.

Excused Absences: There are only two excusable reasons for missing course activities – Death of a family member and University-sponsored Activities (this includes conference attendance).  All other absences, including illness, will be considered unexcused.  In the two excusable cases, you remain responsible for all class-related work that was missed, and you should follow these guidelines:

  • Death of a family member – If you experience the death of a family member, it is your responsibility to do the following:
    • Contact the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS). For guidance on this, please see the ODOS webpage entitled the Grief Absence Policy for Students (GAPS) (http://www.purdue.edu/studentregulations/regulations_procedures/classes.html).  The ODOS will determine the applicable period for your absence and e-mail official notification to your instructors. 
    • Notify me that you will be absent from class for the applicable period.
    • When you return to Purdue, you should contact me to determine when your assignments will be due in accordance with GAPS and your class schedule. 
  • University-sponsored activities  – If you plan to be absent to participate in a university-sponsored activity (this includes conference attendance), you should do the following:
    • Obtain official verification documentation from the sponsor of your activity, supervisor, or graduate advisor.
    • Bring your verification documentation to me at least ten (10) calendar days before your planned absence will occur; these absences will not be excused after they occur. 
    • Submit your assignments at their normal or arranged times; no extensions will be given without prior approval.

Purdue Policy on Attendance. Students are expected to be present for every meeting of the classes in which they are enrolled. Only the instructor can excuse a student from a course requirement or responsibility. When conflicts or absences can be anticipated, such as for many University sponsored activities and religious observations, the student should inform the instructor of the situation as far in advance as possible…For unanticipated or emergency absences when advance notification to an instructor is not possible, the student should contact the instructor as soon as possible by email, or by contacting the main office that offers the course. When the student is unable to make direct contact with the instructor and is unable to leave word with the instructor’s department because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, and in cases of bereavement, the student or the student’s representative should contact the Office of the Dean of Students,

Purdue’s Grief Absence Policy. Purdue University recognizes that a time of bereavement is very difficult for a student. The University therefore provides the following rights to students facing the loss of a family member through the Grief Absence Policy for Students (GAPS). GAPS Policy: Students will be excused for funeral leave and given the opportunity to earn equivalent credit and to demonstrate evidence of meeting the learning outcomes for missed assignments or assessments in the event of the death of a member of the student’s family.

Late Policy & Make-Up Assignments

Most assignments must be submitted via Blackboard and by noon on the day that they are due. There will be some variation in due dates and times, so read weekly Homework assignment documents carefully. Ten percent (20%) will be deducted from the assignment grade for each day that an assignment is late. Make-up assignments may be given only with permission from the instructor.

Emergency Statement

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. To get information about changes in this course go to the Blackboard web page.  You are expected to read your @purdue.edu email on a frequent basis.

Here are links to information about ongoing emergencies:

Academic Accommodations

Purdue University is required to respond to the needs of the students with disabilities as outlined in both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 through the provision of auxiliary aids and services that allow a student with a disability to fully access and participate in the programs, services, and activities at Purdue University.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the Disability Resource Center (http://www.purdue.edu/drc) of an impairment/condition that may require accommodations and/or classroom modifications. 

If you have a disability that requires special academic accommodation, please make an appointment to speak with me within the first three (3) weeks of the semester in order to discuss any adjustments.  It is important that we talk about this at the beginning of the semester. 

Academic Integrity

You are a member of the Purdue community – a community that values Integrity. You are expected to abide by the Purdue University Student Code of Conduct and the Purdue University Student Code of Honor and be familiar with Purdue University's definition of Academic Integrity and its implications. This means that every assignment or any part of an assignment that you turn in under your own name was completed by you personally. If you ever need to include somebody else's work, make sure that you credit that person by name. If you are found to have submitted work that is not your own in this course, you will receive a zero on the entire assignment or exam in question, you may be required to complete an alternative assignment, and your name will be forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Students. Should the situation be of a serious or repeated nature, you will receive a lowered or failing grade in the course.

Purdue’s Policy on Academy Dishonesty. Purdue prohibits "dishonesty in connection with any University activity. Cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University are examples of dishonesty." [Part 5, Section III-B-2-a, University Regulations] Furthermore, the University Senate has stipulated that "the commitment of acts of cheating, lying, and deceit in any of their diverse forms (such as the use of substitutes for taking examinations, the use of illegal cribs, plagiarism, and copying during examinations) is dishonest and must not be tolerated. Moreover, knowingly to aid and abet, directly or indirectly, other parties in committing dishonest acts is in itself dishonest." [University Senate Document 72-18, December 15, 1972]

Violent Behavior Policy

Purdue University is committed to providing a safe and secure campus environment for members of the university community. Purdue strives to create an educational environment for students and a work environment for employees that promote educational and career goals. Violent Behavior impedes such goals. Therefore, Violent Behavior is prohibited in or on any University Facility or while participating in any university activity.


Purdue University is committed to maintaining a community which recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect among its members; and encourages each individual to strive to reach his or her own potential. In pursuit of its goal of academic excellence, the University seeks to develop and nurture diversity. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches campus life.

Purdue University prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran. The University will conduct its programs, services and activities consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and orders and in conformance with the procedures and limitations as set forth in Executive Memorandum No. D-1, which provides specific contractual rights and remedies. Any student who believes they have been discriminated against may visit www.purdue.edu/report-hate to submit a complaint to the Office of Institutional Equity. Information may be reported anonymously.

Course Schedule (Tentative)

Expect weekly Readings & Reflection and other assignments related to the readings.

These are due on Tuesdays at 8 am.


Major Assignment Due Dates

(Tues. noon, unless otherwise noted)

Class Activities





Syllabus Design



Teaching Statement Draft 1


Good Teaching

Traditional Lecture, Flipped Lecture



Syllabus: Course Description & Policies Draft

Course Goals, Learning Objectives, & Bloom's Taxonomy

Homework Design



Syllabus: Course Goals & Learning Objectives Draft

Proposed Active Learning Lesson Topics

Active Learning

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning; Teams



Proposed Active Learning Lesson Evaluation Items


Team Teaching



1. UID Draft & Instructor Meeting

(Due: Fri. 9/3, noon)

Psychological Types & Learning



2. UID Draft & Instructor Meeting

(Due: Fri. 10/10, noon)

Models of Cognitive Development





3. UID Draft & Instructor Meeting

(Due: Fri. 10/17, noon)

1. UID Pre-Reading & Flipped Lecture



2. UID Pre-Reading & Flipped Lecture

Syllabus: Course Requirements, Learning Objectives, & Grading Draft

Formative and Summative Assessments

Teaching with TAs



3. UID Pre-Reading & Flipped Lecture

1. UID Lesson Plan & Homework

Team 1. Active Learning Lesson



2. UID Lesson Plan & Homework

Classroom Observation & Instructor Interview

Team 2. Active Learning Lesson



3. UID Lesson Plan & Homework


Team 3. Active Learning Lesson



Test Development









Teaching Statement Draft 2

Test Development Peer Review & Reflection


Test Development Debrief



Syllabus: Complete

Syllabus Debrief

Course Synthesis & Evaluations

Program Evaluation (ABET)

Finals Week

Teaching Statement Final

(Due: Tuesday 12/16, noon)