Introduction to Industrial Engineering

By Jane M. Fraser

Chapter 3

Learning and teaching


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A small child brags to her friend, "I taught my dog to whistle."
"Wow, says the other, "Letís hear!"
"Oh, he canít whistle," replies the first.
"Why not? I thought you said you taught him!"
"I did! He just didnít learn it."

Source: Assessment Matters, August 18, 2004, Volume 2, Issue 1, ASU West Campus Academic Affairs.

All BSIE programs provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to begin your career. However, you will probably use only about one-third of what you learn in the program, at most. That one-third will be different for each of you, depending on the type of job you take and the type of organization for which you work. BSIE programs try to include the knowledge and skills that apply to most jobs and most organizations.

During your career, you will need to apply knowledge and skills that you wonít have learned in the university because 1) we canít cover everything and 2) new knowledge and new skills are always being created. Thus, engineers must engage in life long learning.

This chapter is about learning and teaching. Learning is the goal; the primary way you learn is through your active engagement with ideas. If you are doing your job as student well and if I am doing my job as professor well, you will read, talk, write, and do problems that help you interact with new ideas and help you make those ideas yours. You wonít, I hope, be thinking about how I am teaching, and you may not be thinking a lot about how you are learning, but you will have changed by the end of this course.

However, I think we will benefit from spending some time now thinking and talking about learning and teaching especially so you can plan how you will keep learning throughout your life. This chapter is a brief review of ideas on learning and teaching, with the following sections addressing the following questions.

3.1 Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.

What are these principles? How will we apply them in this class? How can you apply them in classes that donít use these principles?

3.2 Your style of learning. Researchers have developed various categorizations that describe how people learn and various questionnaires to help you determine which categories best describe your style.

3.3 Theories of learning. Researchers have developed theories about how people learn.

3.4 Life long learning. You will need to continue to learn for as long as you live.

3.5 Some tools for students.