ENE 69500

Mentored Teaching in Engineering

Spring 2015 Syllabus

Michael C. Loui, Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education
Office: Armstrong Hall, Room 1331
Telephone: (765) 496-0194. E-mail: mloui@purdue.edu
Office hours: to be determined; and by appointment

CR1: Mondays, 1:30 to 2:20 p.m., in Mechanical Engineering Bldg., Room 1015
CR3: Mondays, 1:30 to 4:20 a.m., in Mechanical Engineering Bldg., Room 1015

1 credit (section CR1) or 3 credits (section CR3)

Course Web Site
Brightspace: https://purdue.brightspace.com (under ENE-69500-CR3-XLST)

Registration in or completion of either ENE 50600, Content, Assessment and Pedagogy, or ENE 68500, Educational Methods in Engineering; or permission of the instructor. Concurrent significant responsibility for teaching an engineering course (e.g., instructor of record, assigned teaching assistant).

Course Overview and Purpose
This course enables graduate students to deepen their understanding of college teaching and learning through a semester-long teaching experience with mentoring, feedback, and reflection. Students who register for 3 credits will conduct a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project. The course assignments meet some of the requirements for the graduate teacher certificates offered by the campus’s Center for Instructional Excellence, including the Advanced Graduate Teacher Certificate (AGTC). The course will fulfill a requirement of the forthcoming Teaching & Learning in Engineering graduate certificate program (pending approval).

Course Themes and Objectives
We will take a scholarly, professional approach to the teaching of engineering. Because teaching is a scholarly practice, you will relate your teaching activities to the research literature. Students who undertake the SoTL project will learn to contribute to this literature. Because teaching is a professional practice, your teaching experience should resemble an engineering internship. As in an internship, you will work with a mentor to improve your skills. Like practicing engineering professionals, engineering instructors have the ethical obligations that you will explore during the course.
We will emphasize ongoing reflection to connect the readings with your concurrent teaching experiences. Through the assignments and discussions, in class sessions and online, you will have the opportunity to learn to

  • Think critically about the relationships between your teaching experiences and the readings in this course and the prerequisite courses
  • Use reflection, mentoring, and student feedback to learn from teaching experiences
  • Assemble a teaching portfolio that highlights the quality and scholarship of your teaching in a public form, for possible peer review
  • Identify and address ethical issues in teaching situations
  • Explain the reasons for your choices of teaching methods
  • Analyze evidence of student learning
  • Through the SoTL project, plan and carry out a scholarly investigation of teaching and learning

Required Texts

  • Svinicki, M. & McKeachie, W. J. (2013). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers, 14th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. The 13th edition (2011) is similar and less expensive; it will be adequate for this course.
  • Additional readings as assigned. Available in Blackboard.

Class Sessions
Class sessions will include discussions of the readings, small group activities such as peer review of drafts of papers, and a few short lectures. Most sessions will include “Teachers’ Corner”: students can ask questions about practical teaching problems, to which we can apply knowledge from the readings and assignments, and we can share the wisdom gained from our diverse experiences.


Course assignments will help you achieve the objectives of the course. Brief descriptions of the assignments follow. Detailed instructions and grading rubrics will be provided when each assignment is given. Unless otherwise specified, all written assignments must be submitted in Blackboard. Due dates are specified in the Course Schedule section below.

Weekly Reflections (all students)
Each week, you will write an informal individual reflection of about 300 words on your current teaching experiences. Writing prompts will be provided. Some prompts will invite you to connect the academic readings in ENE 695 and the prerequisite courses and to your actual experiences in the classroom. Two reflections will respond to the feedback that you receive from your mentor (see below). One reflection will respond to early feedback that you will collect from students. One reflection can result from observing an experienced instructor conduct a class session. Each reflection should take no longer than one hour to complete.
You will post part or all of each weekly reflection in the Discussions area in Blackboard, and you will then comment substantively on the postings of at least two other students. A substantive comment requires at least 50 words. The individual reflection is due at 8:00 a.m. on each Monday, before the class session. The comments on other students’ reflections will be due one week later. Although there will be 12 opportunities for reflections and comments, at most 10 reflections submitted on time will count toward the course grade, and at most 20 comments submitted on time will count.

Mentoring (all students)
You will choose a teaching mentor in your department/school. The mentor will observe you in a classroom teaching situation twice during the semester. The mentor should be an experienced instructor such as a professor or a more advanced graduate student. If you are a teaching assistant for a course, the course’s instructor of record could serve as your mentor.
You will meet individually with your mentor four times: before and after a first classroom observation by your mentor, and before and after a second classroom observation by your mentor. Each meeting should take about 30 minutes. During the first and third meetings, you will discuss your goals for the forthcoming class sessions and review your lesson plans. During the second and fourth meetings, you will receive feedback from your mentor. After the second and fourth meetings, you will write a reflection on the class sessions and on what practices you might change in the future. You may meet your mentor additional times as well; the AGTC requires biweekly meetings with your mentor.

Course Portfolio (all students)
You will assemble a benchmark course portfolio (www.courseportfolio.org), a short version of a teaching portfolio. The course portfolio will include copies of a syllabus, assignments, quizzes, other assessments, or lesson plans that you develop; examples of student academic work with your feedback (grading); and two essays that

  • Justify the choices of teaching methods and activities
  • Analyze evidence of student learning

Each essay is expected to run from 1,000 to 1,500 words.
The course portfolio will be due at the beginning of Finals Week. You can later use the course portfolio as part of the teaching portfolio that is required for the AGTC. You might submit the course portfolio in an application for an academic position.

Course Synthesis (all students)
At the end of the semester, you will examine how this course has influenced your teaching and your plans for an academic career. Expected length: 1,000 to 1,500 words.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Project (CR3)
You will develop and complete a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project. You will formulate a question about your classroom practice, set your question in the context of the relevant research literature, and design and carry out a plan to address the question. The plan will include gathering and analyzing evidence of student learning. Ideally you will be prepared to present your SoTL project at a conference, or to publish your SoTL paper in a scholarly journal.
The SoTL project will be developed in stages throughout the semester. Deadlines for each stage are specified in the schedule below. If you follow this schedule, you will be able to submit a paper to the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference in 2015. The final paper on the project is expected to be 4,000 to 5,000 words long.

Expected Time Commitment
The readings and assignments will require an average of two to three hours per week outside class sessions for one credit, and six to eight hours per week for three credits.


Assignment Points

Weekly reflections (up to 10)


Comments on other students’ reflections (up to 20)


Course synthesis paper


Course portfolio


Scholarship of teaching and learning project (CR3)
Total for CR1 150
Total for CR3 250

Course grades will be assigned on a criterion-reference scale as follows; minimum totals for grades may be lowered, but they will not be raised:

A    93%          A–  90%          B+  87%          B    83%          B–  80%         

C+  77%          C    73%          C–  70%          D   60%          


Course Policies

We will follow all standard campus policies on accommodations for disabilities and religious practices, academic integrity, student conduct, and nondiscrimination:








Although attendance will not be recorded, you are expected to participate actively in class sessions and online. When students share ideas and experiences, all students benefit. In class sessions, you will collaborate to analyze readings and cases, and to review each other’s draft papers.

Late Submission Policy

You are expected to submit assignments on the due dates. Because graduate students have many important responsibilities outside this course, there are no penalties for submitting assignments late, with the exception of the weekly reflections. You should use this late submission policy only when warranted, and you should tell the instructor about your intention to submit late. You should submit all late assignments by the final class session.      

Electronic Devices

During class sessions, you may use laptop and tablet computers for work related to ENE 695. Please silence cell phones. If your cell phone rings during a class session, you will be asked to bring snacks to the following class session.


For any emergency, call 911. If we hear an indoor fire alarm, we will evacuate the ME building to Purdue Mall outside the MSEE building or to the atrium of MSEE (during inclement weather). If we hear an outdoor emergency siren, or if we receive an emergency notification to shelter in place, we will proceed as follows. For a tornado, we will move to the basement of the ME building. For a civil disturbance, we will remain in the classroom.


Course Schedule


Assignments due

Readings due

Classroom activities

Week 1

Jan. 12


Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 1 “Introduction”; Ch. 2 “Countdown for course preparation”; Ch. 3 “Meeting a class for the first time”

All: Course overview; Seven Principles

CR3: Starting a SoTL project; data collection

Week 2

Jan. 19

Weekly reflection #1

Enerson et al. “An introduction to classroom assessment techniques”

CR3: Bass, “The scholarship of teaching”

CR3: Savory et al. Ch. 1 “A guide for scholarly inquiry into teaching”

No class meeting

(Martin Luther King Day)

Week 3

Jan. 26

Weekly reflection #2

CR3: Project question with justification

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 5 “Facilitating discussion”; Ch. 15 “Experiential learning”; Ch. 19 “Laboratory instruction”

All: Classroom assessment; questioning skills

CR3: IRB applications

Week 4

Feb. 2

Weekly reflection #3

CR3: Project plan

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 11 “Motivation in the college classroom”

All: Student motivation

CR3: Writing abstracts (for Frontiers in Education Conference due Feb. 6)

Week 5

Feb. 9

Weekly reflection #4

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 13 “Different students, different challenges”

All: Early feedback; classroom incivility

CR3: Writing a literature review

Week 6

Feb. 16

Weekly reflection #5

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 7 “Assessing, testing, and evaluating”; Ch. 9 “Good designs for written feedback for students”; Ch. 10 “Assigning grades”

All: Construct and critique grading rubrics

CR3: To be determined

Week 7

Feb. 23

Weekly reflection #6

CR3: Annotated bibliography

Bernstein et al. Ch. 2 “Capturing the intellectual work of teaching: The benchmark portfolio.”

All: Teaching portfolios

CR3: To be determined

Week 8

Mar. 2

Weekly reflection #7

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 12 “Teaching culturally diverse students”

All: Student individual differences, valuing diversity

CR3: To be determined

Week 9

Mar. 9

Weekly reflection #8

CR3: Draft of methods section

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 20 “Teaching students how to become more strategic and self-regulated learners”; Ch. 21 “Teaching thinking”

All: Promoting metacognition

CR3: Peer review of methods sections

Mar. 16



No class meeting (Spring Break)

Week 10

Mar. 23

Weekly reflection #9

CR3: Draft of literature review section

Svinicki & McKeachie Ch. 22 “The ethics of teaching”

All: Ethics scenarios from Keith-Spiegel et al., The ethics of teaching

CR3: Peer review of literature review sections

Week 11

Mar. 30

Weekly reflection #10

CR3: Paper synopsis

Selections from Fisch, Ethical dimensions of college and university teaching

All: More ethics scenarios from Keith-Spiegel et al., The ethics of teaching

CR3: Peer review of paper synopses

Week 12

Apr. 6

Weekly reflection #11

CR3: Draft of introduction section

Svinick &McKeachie Ch. 23 “Vitality and growth throughout your teaching career”

Marsh & Roche, “Making students’ evaluations of teaching effectiveness effective”

All: Teaching evaluations

CR3: Peer review of introduction sections

Week 13

Apr. 13

Weekly reflection #12

Drafts of course portfolio essays



All: Peer review of course portfolio essays

CR3: Discuss interpretations of data

Week 14

Apr. 20

CR3: Full draft paper


All: Presentations of SoTL projects

CR3: Individual project consultations

Week 15

Apr. 27

Course synthesis

CR3: (FIE conference papers due Apr. 27)


All: Presentations of SoTL projects; course evaluation

CR3: Individual project consultations

Finals week

Course portfolio

CR3: Final paper




References and Supplemental Readings

Bass, R. (1999). The scholarship of teaching: What’s the problem? Invention, 1 (1).  https://my.vanderbilt.edu/sotl/files/2013/08/Bass-Problem1.pdf

Bernstein, D., Burnett, A. N., Goodburn, A., & Savory, P. (2006). Making teaching and learning visible: Course portfolios and the peer review of teaching, Bolton, MA: Anker

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1991). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 47, 63–69.

Cross, K. P., & Steadman, M. H. (1996). Classroom research: Implementing the scholarship of teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Enerson, D. M., Plank, K. M., & Johnson, R. N. (2007). An introduction to classroom assessment techniques.  http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/pdf/Classroom_Assessment_Techniques_Intro.pdf

Fisch, L., ed. (1996). Ethical dimensions of college and university teaching: Understanding and honoring the special relationship between teachers and students. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 66. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Keith-Spiegel, P., Whitley, B. E., Balogh, D. W., Perkins, D. V., & Witting, A. F. (2002). The ethics of teaching: A casebook, 2nd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Marsh, H., & Roche, L. (1997). Making students’ evaluations of teaching effectiveness effective. American Psychologist, 52(11), 1187–1197.

McKinney, K. (2007). Enhancing learning through the scholarship of teaching and learning: The challenges and joys of juggling. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors, 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Savory, P., Burnett, A. N, & Goodburn, A. (2007). Inquiry into the college classroom: A journey toward scholarly teaching. Bolton, MA: Anker.