What Students May Expect of Me

I’ve already posted the learning outcomes from the latest version of my course syllabus. I aim to make those outcomes as clear and complete as possible, as it seems only fair to let students know up front what will be expected of them.

With this new revision of my course design, though, it occurred to me that it would also be only fair to let students know up front, in a clear and complete statement, what they may expect of me.

The following now appears in the syllabi of my courses for Spring 2015:

The problem-based approach to teaching and learning always raises the question: What does the instructor do? Throughout the course, students may expect me to:

  1. provide selected resources – and guidance in finding additional resources – for better understanding varieties of values, ethical theories, the professional context of engineering, and the context of particular problem situations;
  2. provide and/or demonstrate models of various aspects of moral cognition;
  3. provide and/or demonstrate models of work asked for in assignments;
  4. provide frequent, focused and fair-minded feedback;
  5. facilitate group and individual activities, making suggestions regarding process, modes of interaction and communication, project planning, etc.;
  6. conduct occasional, timely guided discussions and activities aimed at helping students develop or solidify particular areas of understanding and/or skill; and
  7. offer infrequent, brief lectures to those same ends, but only as needed.

I’ll post something about the pointedly unconventional assignments I set for students by and by.

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