Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Why am I taking this Class”

One thing that must change in higher education is the system of “only in-depth lecturing on a certain topic” in a class. I have often taken class, where a teacher teaches each topic of the class. Teacher teaches clearly, everything is understandable but they forget to indicate why they are teaching it, how that is relevant to the real world problems or how it can contribute to my body of knowledge. It also remains unexplained at times how that class is connected or useful for the other classes in my department or outside department. Thus it is really important for each student to get these answers to fully understand the topic.
The teachers can use the technology in class to answer these questions. At the minimum teachers can use related videos or animations or pictures to make students understand the concept as well as why it is important. Teachers can design simple real world problems and guide them through the process to solve it. Then they can show how that problem can get bigger and complex in real life. Teachers can use the idea of concept map to show the connections between the content taught in that class and how it is related to the other classes in their field and also other fields.
These are some of my thoughts but I encourage more thought and solutions on this problem.

A Case

I found a case from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) website, where Dr. Jun Fu, former Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuro-Oncology, MDACC was accused of research misconduct in a research supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). He admitted that he knowingly and purposefully falsified a figure in a publication. He falsified the survival times of mice to show that NVP-HSP990 prolonged survival rates in glioblastoma tumor bearing mice when experimental data were incomplete and unusable. An inquiry conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), has recommended the senior author of the publication to take necessary actions with the Journal to rectify the result in the paper.

Faculty Usage of Social Media

Disruptive Technology is defined as a technology that replaces an present technology and changes the existing industry to make a completely new industry. For example PC has replaced typewriters and changed the way we now work and communicate. Now the question is whether disruptive technology like social media is embraced by faculty in Higher Education or not?
I found an interesting Report “Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media” produced by Pearson Learning Solutions and Babson Survey Research Group. They surveyed about 3431 faculties who teach in any higher Education institutes, among which 1920 responded. They used stratified sampling to include all teaching faculties: fulltime, part-time, tenured, non-tenured, tenure track or adjunct. They wanted to find out how higher education faculty use social media and how often they use it for their personal, in-class or professional activities. The report presents the detailed analyzed results that can be found in http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535130.pdf.
Overall, It was seen that faculty in higher education were big users of social media sites. Over three quarters have visited social media sites. 90% of the faculty use social media for their professional life: either for teaching purpose or for academic life outside classroom. It was also seen that Facebook was the most popularly used social media while You Tube comes next. The survey data also says that nearly two-third of the faculty use social media in their class sessions like showing videos, posting resources reading assignments, etc. The faculties are aware of the security issues, but still embrace social media and thinks that it is a valuable tool for teaching and collaboration across institutes and countries.

Advances in Engineering Education: An Open Access Journal

Advances in Engineering Education(AEE) is open access journal published by American society of Engineering Education(ASEE) under the editorship of Larry J. Shuman, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. AEE aims to disseminate innovative practices in engineering education to a bigger audience with the creative use of multimedia. A peer reviewed AEE journal is archived online.

The AEE journals can include significant contributions in the field of course development, curricular design, instruction and pedagogy, assessment and evaluation and other engineering teaching practices inside and outside the class that are based on proven learning theories.  Authors can support their text with additional videos, animations and graphics to help understand their content to the reader.

Complete papers are published as full article by AEE while work in progress papers are published as educational briefs. AEE articles complement the existing Journal of Engineering Education.

Comparing Mission Statements of Research Intensive and Teaching Intensive Institutes

I wanted to compare the mission statements of a teaching institute and a research institute. So I chose Rose Hulman Institute of technology as a teaching institute, whose statements were really short, and Virginia Tech as a research Institute whose statements were detailed. Both the mission and vision statements varied a lot with some similarities. Both talked about making students competent for their success. Both are set forth for student’ learning and achievement. But Rose Hulman Institute of Technology did not mention its type and also did not seem to be responsible for serving its community and also did not mention how they would develop social and community building skills in students. Where as in contrast, Virginia Tech gave a detailed description of what it means to them being a land-grant university and how they impact their community. They also mentioned that they try to connect knowledge of campus to how it is practiced in workplace and gives importance to research which is now more interdisciplinary in nature.  They point out their three fold mission of teaching, research, and outreach. I thought Rose Hulman Institute of Technology could have added its type which would justify why they only work towards  student’s success and not for community as a whole.