Course Meeting Times

Discussions: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


This participatory seminar focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching science and engineering in higher education. This course is designed for graduate students interested in an academic career, and anyone else interested in teaching. Readings and discussions include: teaching equations for understanding, designing exam and homework questions, incorporating histories of science, creating absorbing lectures, teaching for transfer, the evils of PowerPoint, and planning a course. The subject is appropriate for both novices and those with teaching experience.


There are no prerequisites for this course except passion for teaching and curiosity about the learning process.


Lesson plan (PDF) Teachers make lesson plans. Here is a form for a sample lesson.
Feedback form (PDF) After class is over, students can give feedback on the lesson's strong and weak points. Here is a form to aid students in giving comments.
Reading memo (PDF) If there are lecture notes, students and instructors can benefit from student comments about the material. Here is a description of the reading memos activity.

Classroom Routine

At the beginning of each class, I answer questions from the feedback forms from the previous lesson. This activity helps me connect what you know with what you found confusing before starting on the next lesson. During the lesson, I ask questions and give you time to think about them before you respond. At the end of the lesson, I ask you to complete feedback forms for the lesson.


The grading for this course is Pass/D/Fail. Everyone passes by completing the assignments. For further information about course philosophy, refer to "Everyone Should Get an A" by David MacKay. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)