Engineering workshop builds teaching skills

engineering workshop

Civil engineering educators from around the world will meet at NAU next week for workshops on building their teaching skills.

The American Society of Civil Engineers is hosting its 11th Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Teaching Workshop at NAU from July 12-18.

Debra Larson, associate dean for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences, who helped organize the event, also is hosting two “ExCEEd” teaching workshops.

She will lead a workshop focusing on “tried and true techniques” for creating successful teaching and learning environments, as well as a new workshop for previous conference participants who are seeking advanced techniques for engaging engineering students.

“This is a highly regarded conference and it’s an honor to host it and be involved with the creation of workshop content and mentoring activities,” Larson said.

Larson said the workshops provide nearly one-to-one mentoring from seasoned teachers and that “faculty often report the experience as career changing as they learn how to become a more effective teacher while being efficient with the management of their preparation time.”

The six-day practicum of seminars, demonstration classes and practice teaching sessions addresses improving skills in communications, organization, developing interpersonal rapport with students, teaching with technology and more.

Seminars include a series of demonstration classes—models of high-quality teaching—presented by ExCEEd faculty mentors. Participants then take what they have learned and apply it by preparing and teaching three actual classes in a small-group setting.

“This collaborative ‘learn by doing’ format ensures that participants will make noticeable improvements in their teaching skills by the end of the course,” said Larson, who along with Josh Hewes, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, provided the assistance for the society to hold the workshop conference at NAU.

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