Module 3: Active Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning in the Lab:

Covering the Material


Many teachers are reluctant to take on active teaching and learning because of concerns about "covering" all the material they need to in their courses.

If your main goal is to help students learn the material in a meaningful way, covering every chapter might not be so important. You might decide that learning to interpret and apply new information is as important as the information itself. Here is one instructor's experience:

"Over time, I learned that completeness is not good instruction. Part of the role of the instructor is to decide what's really essential, because instead of covering things at a high level, in many cases what you need to do is provide students a more vertical depth and understanding of a particular topic. It took me a long time to get to that point. I tried to build in projects at the end of the quarters based on my experience in industry, and that was successful.

"I saw how excited they got when they were actually working in small teams. So I've learned you don't have to cover every topic. You need to get the students to a level where they can comfortably do some of that on their own." — Jim Houdeshell, Instructor, Quality Engineering Technology