The University of Michigan (U-M) seeks nominations and invites applications for the position of Director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). Read more »

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The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) at the University of Michigan has an opening for a postdoctoral research associate with a focus on assessment and evaluation. Read more »

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At U-M and around the country, research in Engineering Education has been developing in exciting directions. In this growing field, scholars apply the methods of educational research to address a range of issues pertaining to teaching and learning in engineering.

The findings of these scholars can help instructors in any field think about effective approaches to teaching, both in and beyond the classroom. Wondering about the latest research on any of the following?

  • how to effectively employ innovative teaching strategies and methods to improve student learning
  • utilizing educational technology in the classroom
  • increasing the number of underrepresented students in your field
  • overcoming student resistance to active learning
  • enhancing learning in design courses

You'll find insights about all of these in the projects presented by U-M faculty, students, and staff at the 9th annual Engineering Education Research Fair, sponsored by CRLT in Engineering. The poster fair will take place Thursday, March 12, 12:00pm - 1:30pm, in the Johnson Rooms of the Lurie Engineering Center and feature projects by researchers in fields including engineering, education, technical communication, physics, and chemistry. All are invited to join us for lunch and engage with the U-M community of scholars who are promoting excellence in engineering education. 

Register to attend here.

 

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How do U-M undergraduates choose their courses and majors? CRLT recently investigated this question for five LSA departments by analyzing Registrar data, surveying students, and conducting student focus groups. Our findings can help faculty and programs across the university successfully inform students about their offerings and increase the numbers of students who take advantage of them. A summary of the results and recommendations can be found here.

Some of our key findings about students' selection processes include:

  • Above all, students use the online Course Guide (rather than printed publicity such as posters) to learn about course options. They look to departmental websites for information to help guide their decisions about concentrations. 
  • Other people strongly influence students' course and concentration choices. These include their academic advisors (especially in the first and second year), their peers, and their parents. 
  • While meeting a requirement is reported as the primary reason students choose a course, the second is an "interesting topic" -- often defined as an interdisciplinary course or a class that makes connections to future professional/educational plans.

What practices do these findings suggest if you're interested in recruiting students? Some include: Read more »

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Recent months have seen heightened national conversation about the ways implicit biases can perpetuate racial and gender disparities in powerful domains from policing to hiring. This conversation invites us as teachers to examine the ways our implicit attitudes might negatively affect our perceptions of and behavior towards students in our classes. As teachers, we assume responsibility for fostering the learning of all students in our classes. Even when we have the best of intentions, subtle biases that we're unaware of can undermine our efforts at creating inclusive classrooms.

What are some practices that can help us check our own assumptions and biases about our students? And how can we safeguard against our implicit biases—i.e., attitudes we may not even be aware of—negatively affecting students’ experiences in our classes?

Some strategies for becoming aware of our potential biases (or their negative effects) in teaching include: Read more »

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