This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 5.95J Teaching College-Level Science and Engineering as it was taught by Janet Rankin in Fall 2015.

This participatory seminar focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching science and engineering in higher education. It is designed for graduate students interested in an academic career, and anyone else interested in teaching. Students research and present a relevant topic of particular interest. The subject is appropriate for both novices and those with teaching experience.

One of the most important findings in educational research is that students learn best by doing.  Each class session includes opportunities for students to engage in active learning, small group discussions, and critical thinking.  In-class and out-of-class assignments and readings help students develop their own teaching practice.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:

  • Describe some of the latest research in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning in higher education, including research on diversity.
  • Apply that research in your own teaching.
  • Develop and utilize a set of teaching skills, including: Creating intended learning outcomes; planning and presenting a class; using active learning techniques; and employing feedback to improve your teaching, constructing effective problem set and exam questions, and creating an inclusive classroom.
  • Formatively and summatively assess student learning.
  • Write a teaching philosophy statement.
 

Meet the Educator

An image of instructor Janet Rankin taken from an interview in which she is seated behind a round table.

In the following video, Janet Rankin introduces herself and shares how she became interested in teaching and learning.

 

Instructor Insights

Small groups of students talking at tables in a classroom. In the foreground, an instructor stands near a pair of students talking to each other.

In the following videos, Janet Rankin describes various active learning strategies and how she engages students in learning these techniques.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

None

Requirements Satisfied

None

Offered

Every fall semester

The Classroom

  • Image of instructor and students in a classroom. Two students are standing near the instructor and three are sitting at tables. A slide is projected on a pulled down screen.

    Seminar

    Seminars were held in a classroom equipped with A/V equipment and moveable tables and chairs.

 

Assessment

The course is Pass/No Credit. To pass the class, students must complete 12 short post-class assignments and participate in class activities (including a microteaching session) and discussions.

Student Information

13 students took this course when it was taught in Fall 2015.

Breakdown by Year

Mostly graduate students and visiting faculty

Breakdown by Major

Mostly mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, business, chemistry and chemical engineering

Typical Student Background

Visiting faculty were part of the MIT-Africa Initiative and brought prior teaching experience to the course. A few other participants also had prior teaching experience.

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 4 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

2 hours per week
  • Met 1 time per week for 2 hours per session; 13 sessions total.
  • Each class session included opportunities for students to engage in active learning, small group discussions, and critical thinking.
 

Out of Class

2 hours per week
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
3 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
4 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
6 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
7 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
8 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
9 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
11 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled and an assignment was due No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
13 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Microteaching scheduled and an assignment was due. No session scheduled.
14 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Microteaching scheduled and an assignment was due. No classes throughout MIT.
15 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class meetings are held. Class meeting
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate assignment due dates. Assignment due
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when Microteachings are held. Microteaching